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Bahrain GP2: Leimer takes pole by almost a second

Fabio Leimer takes Sakhir GP2 poleFabio 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 tyres after a cool-down run.

On his second set of tyres 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, 0.993s 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 0.015s.

Returnee Alexander Rossi again impressed 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 favourite James Calado, who could only manage the 11th fastest time. He will start back in 21st due to his penalty for causing a crash at Sepang.

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.

Update: Canamasas punished for pushing Ceccon off

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

* 10-place penalty for Sepang crash
** Later excluded for Ceccon move
*** Three-place penalty for blocking
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