125cc championship leader Nicolas Terol took his first pole position in the category in qualifying at Le Mans.
The Aspar Aprilia rider overcame title rival Pol Espargaro (Tuenti Derbi) by 0.145sec in the middle of the session and remained unbeaten thereafter.
Sandro Cortese's last lap lifted the German rider up to third, ahead of Marc Marquez. Having taken pole for every race so far this year, Marquez was put off his stride by a practice crash this morning, but still stayed on the front row for Red Bull Ajo Derbi.
Terol's teammate Bradley Smith took fifth, his best starting position of 2010 so far, despite crashing at the Museum corner on his final run, which meant he dropped off the front row when Cortese vaulted up to third. Tomoyoshi Koyama, Randy Krummenacher and Danny Webb share row two with Smith.
Esteve Rabat, third in the championship going into this weekend, crashed in the opening stages and will start back in 10th.
Pos Rider Bike Time Gap
1. Nicolas Terol Aprilia 1m43.719s
2. Pol Espargaro Derbi 1m43.864s + 0.145s
3. Sandro Cortese Derbi 1m44.118s + 0.399s
4. Marc Marquez Derbi 1m44.141s + 0.422s
5. Bradley Smith Aprilia 1m44.172s + 0.453s
6. Tomoyoshi Koyama Aprilia 1m44.358s + 0.639s
7. Randy Krummenacher Aprilia 1m44.580s + 0.861s
8. Danny Webb Aprilia 1m44.807s + 1.088s
9. Johann Zarco Aprilia 1m44.909s + 1.190s
10. Esteve Rabat Aprilia 1m44.920s + 1.201s
11. Luis Salom Lambretta 1m45.021s + 1.302s
12. Efren Vazquez Derbi 1m45.306s + 1.587s
13. Jonas Folger Aprilia 1m45.618s + 1.899s
14. Riccardo Moretti Aprilia 1m45.657s + 1.938s
15. Jasper Iwema Aprilia 1m45.754s + 2.035s
16. Adrian Martin Aprilia 1m45.851s + 2.132s
17. Alberto Moncayo Aprilia 1m45.955s + 2.236s
18. Alexis Masbou Aprilia 1m46.035s + 2.316s
19. Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1m46.372s + 2.653s
20. Marcel Schrotter Honda 1m46.772s + 3.053s
21. Sturla Fagerhaug Aprilia 1m46.777s + 3.058s
22. Louis Rossi Aprilia 1m46.782s + 3.063s
23. Jakub Kornfeil Aprilia 1m46.867s + 3.148s
24. Muhammad Zulfahmi Aprilia 1m47.643s + 3.924s
25. Michael van der Mark Lambretta 1m48.271s + 4.552s
26. Morgan Berchet Honda 1m48.812s + 5.093s
27. Gregory di Carlo Honda 1m48.868s + 5.149s
28. Kevin Szalai Honda 1m48.924s + 5.205s
29. Marco Ravaioli Lambretta 1m49.023s + 5.304s