Qualifying: Two poles for Muller

Yvan Muller won another round in his personal battle with Vauxhall team mate Jason Plato when he took pole position for both Sunday's rounds at Mondello Park.

Qualifying: Two poles for Muller

"For sure I'm happy, you can never be bored with pole," said the Frenchman after taking his fourth pole on the trot. He soon harked back to his last two top times and the races that followed though. "It's two points which is important, but I got two poles at Silverstone and I didn't win either race, so now we have to win."

Plato was far from chuffed and blunt about where the blame lay. "I just drove like a twat," he said. "It was a bit messy and I just didn't get the laps that I needed to. The car was good enough for two poles."

Muller is upbeat about tomorrow's races. "The car is more consistent than it was at Silverstone and I've reduced the understeer we had this morning, so I'm quite optimistic," he said. Plato is not so happy. "That's why I'm so hacked off with myself; pole's really important here. It's just too tight to overtake. It would be OK if I was battling Pugs, but even if you're being pretty aggressive it's tight."

James Thompson and Phil Bennett shared the other top slots. Thompson suffered from lack of running in free practice this morning when he had a misfire and running out of petrol when he'd finally found the tyre set-up that worked. Bennett slid off at the Sport Ireland bend mid-session.

At Peugeot there was more disappointment. Both Steve Soper and Dan Eaves are still searching for a decent set-up. More changes are planned for tomorrow. Soper will start fifth in both races and Eaves seventh, the pair split by Kurt Luby's ABG Motorsport Lexus.

Simon Graves grabbed the production pole at the death to spoil Simon Harrison's perfect qualifying record.

Graves who was out in the second Barwell Honda Accord for the second time was the last car to take the chequered flag at the end of the session and that was the lap that counted. "I'm back," said the delighted Graves, who'd produced a fine performance despite still being short on seat time in the Accord. "It helps that I haven't got any [success ballast] weight, but I'm pretty pleased." Graves had put a scrubbed set of tyres on at the last minute having missed out on a top time on his first set of tyres. "I'm still rusty," he admitted. "I just made a few mistakes."

Harrison had been on pole for most of the session and even improved his own time on the last lap, but it wasn't enough. "It's the two [pole position] points that I'm really upset about," said the HTML Peugeot man. "They give you a nice little cushion and it doesn't matter so much if one of my main rivals wins a race."

Yvan Muller (Vauxhall) 1m47.629s
Jason Plato (Vauxhall) 1m47.759s
James Thompson (Vauxhall) 1m47.844s
Phil Bennett (Vauxhall) 1m48.373s
Steve Soper (Peugeot) 1m48.856s
Kurt Luby (Lexus) 1m49.849s
Dan Eaves (Peugeot) 1m50.093s

Yvan Muller (Vauxhall) 1m47.686s
Jason Plato (Vauxhall) 1m47.810s
Phil Bennett (Vauxhall) 1m47.907s
James Thompson (Vauxhall) 1m48.017s
Steve Soper (Peugeot) 1m49.142s
Kurt Luby (Lexus) 1m49.629s
Dan Eaves (Peugeot) 1m50.302s

Simon Graves (Honda P) 1m52.503s
Simon Harrison (Peugeot P) 1m52.725s
Roger Moen (Peugeot P) 1m53.067s
Mat Jackson (Ford P) 1m53.114s
James Kaye (Honda P) 1m53.359s
Gavin Pyper (Alfa Romeo P) 1m53.376s

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