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Bianchi claims maiden GP2 pole

Jules Bianchi, ART, Sakhir 2010Jules Bianchi claimed his first GP2 pole position in an extremely close battle with Asia series points leader Davide Valsecchi at Sakhir.

The Formula 3 Euro Series champion put his ART car on the top spot by just 0.003 seconds over iSport's Valsecchi, while Javier Villa (Arden) and Luca Filippi (Meritus) were also within 0.049s of pole.

Valsecchi had initially looked set to continue his run of success, moving 0.3s clear of the field when he found a clear lap in the middle of the session.

But he was swiftly pushed back to fourth as first Filippi, then Bianchi moved to provisional pole, and Villa claimed second.

Then in the final minute of the session Valsecchi improved to 1m43.478s and appeared to have done enough to claim another pole - only for Bianchi to throw in a 1m43.474s and earn his first GP2 pole in his second weekend in the category.

Villa and Filippi remained on the second row, with Alvaro Parente announcing his return to the series with an impressive fifth place on his first appearance with Coloni.

Valsecchi's iSport team-mate Oliver Turvey was in the fight for pole initially before being pushed down to sixth, ahead of Giacomo Ricci (DPR), Christian Vietoris (DAMS), Charles Pic (Arden) and Sergio Perez (Addax).

The other two returnees Yelmer Buurman and Adrian Zaugg were back in 16th and 18th with Ocean and Trident, while Jake Rosenzweig (Super Nova) will make his GP2 debut from the back row.

Pos  Driver                Team        Time       Gap
 1.  Jules Bianchi         ART         1m43.474s
 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
Daytona Competition
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