The German, fastest in the morning practice session, had been outpaced by Nico Terol for much of the session but in the final five minutes of the session Cortese made his move and took pole by a comfortable margin of 0.2s from Terol. The duo once again dominated proceedings with Hector Faubel third fastest but almost 0.6s slower than Cortese.
Efren Vazquez overcame an early crash to set the fourth fastest time but the Derbi rider was over one second adrift of Cortese. The Spaniard will be joined on the second row by Johann Zarco and Luis Salom who availed of a tow from Cortese to set his fastest time.
Jonas Folger has impressed throughout the weekend but lacked the sparkle in qualifying and will line up seventh just ahead of Miguel Oliveira. The Portuguese rider, in only his second Grand Prix, has shown signs of a very promising future and was in the top five for much of the session. Another rookie, Danny Kent, will line up ninth after a superb performance from the Englishman saw him take a career best grid position.
Alberto Moncayo would have expected more heading into qualifying than tenth place on the grid but the youngster should still be a contender tomorrow. He will line up alongside the experienced Sergio Gadea and Maverick Vinales. Vinales made his debut in Qatar but the 16 year old has looked exceptionally confident this weekend and ready to build on his top ten debut last time out.
As ever there are wildcards at Jerez and Josep Rodriguez had an impressive session to finish 20th, just behind Danny Webb. There will be 33 riders starting tomorrow’s race following Sarath Kumar’s failure to qualify for the second race in succession.
For full results of qualifying click here