Find out more about our subscriptions

Valsecchi on pole in Abu Dhabi

Davide Valsecchi, iSport, Abu Dhabi 2009Davide Valsecchi claimed his maiden GP2 Asia Series pole position in qualifying for the opening round of the season at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit.

The Italian iSport driver, who had set the pace in morning practice, improved his pace by 1.7 seconds to secure the top spot in a time of 1m51.964s.

"I am really happy because I made my first pole position ever. It's my best moment in my career," said Valsecchi. "I guess we were one or two tenths [ahead] because the car was perfect.

"I feel really confident with the team from the first time in the test to now in qualifying so I'm really happy. I have to say thank you to the team for the car."

A superb second quickest was British rookie Sam Bird, who managed a time 0.219s slower than Valsecchi in his ART car.

Formula Master champion Fabio Leimer, who is also making his GP2 debut this weekend, was almost as impressive in third place, ahead of Luca Filippi.

Filippi, who had set the pace in testing last weekend at Yas Marina, looked to have a good chance of taking pole. His challenge ended just after half distance, as a gear selection problem caused his Meritus car to stop at Turn 19.

Roldan Rodriguez and Rodolfo Gonzalez filled the third row for Coloni and Arden respectively, while Britain's James Jakes put his Super Nova car seventh.

ART's Marcus Ericsson and DPR's Michael Herck, who were second and third quickest in practice, could not carry their form into qualifying. They will start the season-opener 15th and 16th respectively.

Pos  Driver                Team        Time       Gap
 1.  Davide Valsecchi      iSport      1m51.964s       
 2.  Sam Bird              ART         1m52.183s  + 0.219s
 3.  Fabio Leimer          Ocean       1m52.236s  + 0.272s
 4.  Luca Filippi          Meritus     1m52.240s  + 0.276s
 5.  Roldan Rodriguez      Coloni      1m52.300s  + 0.336s
 6.  Rodolfo Gonzalez      Arden       1m52.436s  + 0.472s
 7.  James Jakes           Super Nova  1m52.529s  + 0.565s
 8.  Johnny Cecotto        Trident     1m52.557s  + 0.593s
 9.  Josef Kral            Super Nova  1m52.575s  + 0.611s
10.  Giacomo Ricci         DPR         1m52.690s  + 0.726s
11.  Edoardo Piscopo       DAMS        1m52.792s  + 0.828s
12.  Daniel Zampieri       Piquet      1m52.816s  + 0.852s
13.  Alexander Rossi       Ocean       1m52.827s  + 0.863s
14.  Christian Vietoris    DAMS        1m52.792s  + 0.866s
15.  Marcus Ericsson       ART         1m52.846s  + 0.882s
16.  Michael Herck         DPR         1m52.869s  + 0.905s
17.  Diego Nunes           Meritus     1m52.907s  + 0.943s
18.  Oliver Turvey         iSport      1m52.955s  + 0.991s
19.  Luiz Razia            Addax       1m52.996s  + 1.032s
20   Charles Pic           Arden       1m53.112s  + 1.148s
21.  Max Chilton           Addax       1m53.147s  + 1.183s
22.  Vladimir Arabadzhiev  Piquet      1m53.628s  + 1.664s
23.  William Bratt         Coloni      1m53.711s  + 1.747s
24.  Plamen Kralev         Trident     1m58.149s  + 6.185s
  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Vietoris takes maiden GP2 victory
Valsecchi wins GP2 Asia opener
Valsecchi thrilled with maiden pole
Valsecchi leads Abu Dhabi practice