Estoril delivers third pole of the season for Bradl

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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) will start the bwin Grande Prémio de Portugal from the front row after securing pole position. The German rider bettered Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) in the final moments to snatch the top spot. Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) will join Bradl and Luthi on the front row.

Bradl who made it a trio of poles after achieving pole position at both Qatar and Spain, set the fastest lap time of 1’41:591 which was just over a tenth quicker than the Swiss rider who had headed the timesheets for a long time in qualifying. After winning in Qatar, Bradl is joint second in the championship and took victory at this circuit last season.

Lüthi who had started from the front row on both occasions already this season, made it three in a row with second on the grid. The Swiss rider has only had one rostrum result here in Portugal when he came 3rd in the 125cc race in 2005 on his way to winning the world title. Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) whose best grid position so far this season was sixth this season in Losail, improved to qualify in third place for round three of the Moto2 campaign.

Heading the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s race is Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) who started second in his debut Moto2 race in Qatar. Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP) achieved his best qualifying in his Moto2 career by beating his previous best of sixth on the grid with the fifth fastest time set in qualifying. The Swiss rider was potentially set for an improvement on his fifth place as he was on a quicker lap which until he crashed out in the final part of the session. Michele Pirro (Gresini Racing Moto2) in his debut season will also start from the second row in sixth despite falling in the session.

Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) who had been the pace setter on Friday, was unable to match his performance set in the practice sessions and will start the race from the front of the third row in seventh. Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP) was a few places behind his team mate in eighth place after being as high as second in the final practice session which was raced in difficult conditions, but was one of many riders who fell in qualifying. Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing) was ninth, one spot ahead of Pol Espargaró (HP Tuenti Speed Up). The Spaniard crashed out during qualifying but regained his place in the top ten.

There were plenty of incidents in the Moto2 qualifying session with many riders struggling with turn one and having similar highsides. Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2), Claudio Corti (Italtrans Racing), Yonny Hernández (Blusens-STX) and Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda Singha-SAG) were all riders who suffered the misfortune of hitting the tarmac during the forty-five minute session.

The highest placed British rider was that of Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) who finished fourth in the Moto2 race last year. Redding will start the race from 13th, two places ahead of Bradley Smith (Tech 3). Kev Coghlan (Team Aeroport de Castelló) after his eighth placed finish in Jerez was 37th. The last time two British riders finished in the top 8 in the intermediate class was the Italian GP in 2009.

Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) who is currently leading the Moto2 championship qualified in 14th place. Anthony West (MZ Racing) who crashed in qualifying will start from 29th, two places behind American Kenny Noyes (Avintia-STX).

The top 28 riders were covered by a two second margin.

TAGS Portugal

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