Romain Grosjean grabbed pole position from Sam Bird in the dying seconds of qualifying for the GP2 Asia finale at a sunny Imola.
Practice pacesetter Bird (iSport) had looked like he had the top spot wrapped up after moving to the head of the order with 10 minutes to go and then improving his time to a 1m27.384s.
Grosjean seemed unlikely to find enough of a gain on his last run to beat the Briton, but the DAMS driver then produced a 1m27.067s on his final lap to repeat his Abu Dhabi pole. Bird was already celebrating in parc ferme when Grosjean crossed the line to take pole away.
Coloni's Michael Herck took an impressive third, having held provisional pole for a while, with points leader Jules Bianchi fourth for ART.
Giedo van der Garde, who had been fastest in this morning's opening session, took fifth for Addax, with Josef Kral (Arden), Marcus Ericsson (iSport), Jolyon Palmer (Arden), Davide Valsecchi (AirAsia) and Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin) completing the top 10.
Returnee Luca Filippi was left at the back of the grid due to a driveshaft problem on his Coloni car.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Romain Grosjean DAMS 1m27.067s 2. Sam Bird iSport 1m27.384s + 0.317s 3. Michael Herck Coloni 1m27.558s + 0.491s 4. Jules Bianchi ART 1m27.676s + 0.609s 5. Giedo van der Garde Addax 1m27.735s + 0.668s 6. Josef Kral Arden 1m27.834s + 0.767s 7. Marcus Ericsson iSport 1m27.872s + 0.805s 8. Jolyon Palmer Arden 1m27.898s + 0.831s 9. Davide Valsecchi AirAsia 1m27.909s + 0.842s 10. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin 1m27.988s + 0.921s 11. Luiz Razia AirAsia 1m28.073s + 1.006s 12. Andrea Caldarelli Ocean 1m28.093s + 1.026s 13. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1m28.143s + 1.076s 14. Oliver Turvey Ocean 1m28.151s + 1.084s 15. Esteban Gutierrez ART 1m28.160s + 1.093s 16. Stefano Coletti Trident 1m28.194s + 1.127s 17. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident 1m28.310s + 1.243s 18. Max Chilton Carlin 1m28.332s + 1.265s 19. Pal Varhaug DAMS 1m28.357s + 1.290s 20. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1m28.373s + 1.306s 21. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova 1m28.382s + 1.315s 22. Johnny Cecotto Super Nova 1m28.490s + 1.423s 23. Charles Pic Addax 1m28.549s + 1.482s 24. Julian Leal Rapax 1m28.644s + 1.577s 25. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1m28.646s + 1.579s 26. Luca Filippi Coloni