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Bianchi claims maiden GP2 pole
In what will go down in history as one of the most thrilling GP2 qualifying sessions ever, Frenchman Jules Bianchi snatched his first GP2 pole position in an extremely close battle with Series leader Davide Valsecchi today at Sakhir in the third round of the season. Bianchi placed his car on the top spot by just 0.003 seconds on his very last lap.

On a much cleaner track compared to this morning’s practice session, the ART man made a statement very early into the qualifying session, topping the timing sheet ahead of returnee Alvaro Parente and Javier Villa. On a different tire strategy and leaving the pits later than most, Valsecchi waited for a clear lap in the middle of the session to push back Bianchi in second place, while the Italian’s teammate Oliver Turvey moved up to third place.

With ten minutes left on the clock, Luca Filippi moved to provisional pole, but not for long though as Bianchi, clearly on a mission and on a flyer, improved in the first and third sectors while setting an impressive second sector. Meanwhile, Villa moved up to second place, pushing Valsecchi back to fourth.

In the last sixty seconds of the session, Valsecchi improved his best lap time and looked set to claim his second pole position of the season. By then, the top 4 was within six hundredths. In his last effort and ten seconds before the checkered flag, Bianchi found it in him to improve even more earning his first GP2 pole position.

Behind Bianchi and Valsecchi, Villa and Filippi remained respectively third and fourth while Parente finished a strong fifth for Coloni ahead of Turvey, Giacomo Ricci, GP2 Asia race winner Christian Vietoris, Round 2 poleman Charles Pic and Sergio Perez. Tomorrow’s feature race will start at 1pm local time.



Driver Team Time Behind
1. Jules Bianchi ART 1m43.474s +0.000s
2. Davide Valsecchi iSport 1m43.478s +0.004s
3. Javier Villa Arden 1m43.519s +0.045s
4. Luca Filippi Meritus 1m43.523s +0.049s
5. Alvaro Parente Coloni 1m43.714s +0.240s
6. Oliver Turvey iSport 1m43.818s +0.344s
7. Giacomo Ricci DPR 1m43.918s +0.444s
8. Christian Vietoris DAMS 1m44.086s +0.612s
9. Charles Pic Arden 1m44.172s +0.698s
10. Sergio Perez Addax 1m44.246s +0.772s
11. Sam Bird ART 1m44.253s +0.779s
12. Edoardo Piscopo DAMS 1m44.338s +0.864s
13. Max Chilton Addax 1m44.617s +1.143s
14. Michael Herck DPR 1m44.671s +1.197s
15. Alexander Rossi Meritus 1m44.713s +1.239s
16. Yelmer Buurman Ocean 1m44.724s +1.250s
17. Vladimir Arabadzhiev Rapax 1m44.759s +1.285s
18. Adrian Zaugg Trident 1m44.781s +1.307s
19. Daniele Zampieri Rapax 1m45.079s +1.605s
20. Will Bratt Coloni 1m45.320s +1.846s
21. Fabio Leimer Ocean 1m45.371s +1.897s
22. Josef Kral Super Nova 1m45.424s +1.950s
23. Jake Rosenzweig Super Nova 1m45.980s +2.506s
24. Plamen Kralev Trident 1m47.243s +3.769s

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