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Cortese takes Moto3™ pole as local hero Oliveira get on the front row

Cortese takes Moto3™ pole as local hero Oliveira get on the front row

The first qualifying session at Grande Prémio de Portugal Circuito Estoril got underway with the Moto3™ class in sunny conditions with Red Bull KTM Ajo´s Sandro Cortese taking his second pole position of the season ahead of Maverick Viñales.

With a lap of 1.47´145, Cortese confirmed himself as one of the favourites for tomorrow´s race, starting in front of Blusens Avintia´s championship favourite Maverick Viñales, who was just over three tenths behind. Rounding out the front row of grid is Estrella Galicia 0,0´s local hero Miguel Oliveira, who gave the home crowd something to celebrate.

Fourth on the grid is Red Bull KMT Ajo rider Danny Kent, who has found his confidence again after his Jerez crash. He starts ahead of AirAsia-Sic-Ajo´s Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who is starting to make headway after a subdued start to the season. The second row is completed by championship leader, Team Italia FMI´s Romano Fenati, who continues to impress in his maiden year.

RW Racing GP´s Luis Salom starts tomorrow´s race in seventh, having set a time just over a second off the front, ousting JHK T-Shirt Laglisse´s Efrén Vázquez into eighth. Vázquez crashed out in turn nine on his final hot-lap, yet walked away unscathed. Finishing off the third row is Bankia Aspar Team´s Héctor Faubel, while the top ten is rounded out by Caretta Technology´s Alexis Masbou.

Bankia Aspar Team´s Alberto Moncayo had a difficult session with his bike stopping at the end of pit lane with a mechanical problem towards the end of the session. He starts from 17th.

The Moto3™ class has some notable absentees, as IodaRacing Project´s Jonas Folger is still suffering from glandular fever and has been replaced this weekend by Italian rider Armando Pontone, while TT Motion Events Racing´s Niklas Ajo is replaced by Spain´s Joan Olive, after the Finn was banned following an altercation with a race official at the last round.

Caretta Technology´s Jack Miller is replaced this weekend by Italian Manuel Tatasciore, after the Australian fractured his collarbone in Jerez. A late pull-out is Ambrogio Next Racing´s Simone Grotzkyj, who is suffering from a stomach upset.


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