Fabio Leimer set pole position for Saturday's feature race in the second round of the GP2 Series in Bahrain, thrashing his nearest opposition by almost a second.
As in practice, Leimer was in a league of his own out front. He banged in a 1m40.044s on his first proper flying lap, and then managed another lap good enough for pole – a 1m40.229s – on his second rapid lap on the same set of soft tires after a cool-down run.
On his second set of tires Leimer slammed in a 1m39.427s – almost a second clear of the opposition. In total, it was his third lap quick enough for pole, and left his opposition scratching their heads as to why he was so much quicker.
Marcus Ericsson was best of the rest for DAMS, 0.993sec in arrears. Felipe Nasr will start third for Carlin, a tenth slower than Ericsson, and he will be joined on the second row by points leader Stefano Coletti (Rapax), who topped a tightly-packed group of drivers.
Tom Dillmann was best of the late improvers, grabbing fifth from Stephane Richelmi by 0.015sec.
America's Alexander Rossi again impressed in his return to the series with Caterham and will start seventh, ahead of Auto GP champ Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, who showed vastly improved pace with the new-to-GP2 MP Motorsport squad.
Sam Bird will start ninth, ahead of debutant Robin Frijns and pre-season favorite James Calado, who could only manage the 11th-fastest time.
Sepang overtaking sensation Jolyon Palmer will start 13th, while GP3 champ Mitch Evans was the session's only casualty when he was forced to park his Arden machine with an electrical problem. He will start 18th.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1m39.427s
2. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1m40.420s + 0.993s
3. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1m40.520s + 1.093s
4. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1m40.585s + 1.158s
5. Tom Dillmann Russian Time 1m40.689s + 1.262s
6. Stephane Richelmi DAMS 1m40.704s + 1.277s
7. Alexander Rossi Caterham 1m40.756s + 1.329s
8. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP 1m40.769s + 1.342s
9. Sam Bird Russian Time 1m40.842s + 1.415s
10. Robin Frijns Hilmer 1m40.865s + 1.438s
11. James Calado ART 1m40.878s + 1.451s
12. Simon Trummer Rapax 1m40.892s + 1.465s
13. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1m41.033s + 1.606s
14. Johnny Cecotto Arden 1m41.043s + 1.616s
15. Daniel Abt ART 1m41.070s + 1.643s
16. Sergio Canamasas Caterham 1m41.229s + 1.802s
17. Kevin Giovesi Lazarus 1m41.236s + 1.809s
18. Mitch Evans Arden 1m41.237s + 1.810s
19. Kevin Ceccon Trident 1m41.243s + 1.816s
20. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1m41.504s + 2.077s
21. Rene Binder Lazarus 1m41.553s + 2.126s
22. Jake Rosenzweig Addax 1m41.687s + 2.260s
23. Nathanael Berthon Trident 1m41.730s + 2.303s
24. Pal Varhaug Hilmer 1m41.980s + 2.553s
25. Rio Haryanto Addax 1m41.981s + 2.554s
26. Daniel de Jong MP 1m42.284s + 2.857s