Jules Bianchi took pole position for the first GP2 race of the weekend at Barcelona, while championship leader Romain Grosjean could only manage fifth.
ART's Bianchi set the pace during the early minutes of the session, which turned out to be when the track was at its quickest. As had been the case in practice, nobody at the front was able to improve on their second runs, leaving Bianchi on pole from Giedo van der Garde.
Both front row men waited a long time before starting their second runs in the closing minutes, and van der Garde decided to abandon his without attempting another hot lap.
Joint championship leader Sam Bird (iSport) proved that focusing on race setup in practice was no hindrance as he qualified third, with van der Garde's Addax teammate Charles Pic completing the second row in fourth.
DAMS driver Grosjean was unable to repeat his dominant performance from practice and had to settle for fifth on the grid. This was despite having two runs, the second of which was no faster than his earlier effort.
Behind Davide Valsecchi (AirAsia) in sixth, Racing Engineering's Dani Clos and iSport's Marcus Ericsson were the only drivers in the top 10 to improve late in the session. Clos climbed from eighth to seventh on his second run, while Ericsson jumped from 11th to eighth.
The two cars of last year's championship-winning team Rapax will occupy the back row of the grid. Fabio Leimer broke down at Turn 5 before he had set a time, while Julian Leal will start last owing to the grid penalty he received for his part in the accident which badly injured Davide Rigon in Turkey.