Jules Bianchi took pole position for the first GP2 race of the weekend at Barcelona, while championship leader Romain Grosjean could only manage fifth.
ART's Bianchi set the pace during the early minutes of the session, which turned out to be when the track was at its quickest.
As had been the case in practice, nobody at the front was able to improve on their second runs, leaving Bianchi on pole from Giedo van der Garde.
Both front row men waited a long time before starting their second runs in the closing minutes, and van der Garde decided to abandon his without attempting another hot lap.
Joint championship leader Sam Bird (iSport) proved that focusing on race set-up in practice was no hindrance as he qualified third, with van der Garde's Addax team-mate Charles Pic completing the second row in fourth.
DAMS driver Grosjean was unable to repeat his dominant performance from practice and had to settle for fifth on the grid. This was despite having two runs, the second of which was no faster than his earlier effort.
Behind Davide Valsecchi (AirAsia) in sixth, Racing Engineering's Dani Clos and iSport's Marcus Ericsson were the only drivers in the top 10 to improve late in the session. Clos climbed from eighth to seventh on his second run, while Ericsson jumped from 11th to eighth.
The two cars of last year's championship-winning team Rapax will occupy the back row of the grid. Fabio Leimer stopped on track at Turn 5 with falling oil pressure before he had set a time, while Julian Leal will start last owing to the grid penalty he received for his part in the accident which badly injured Davide Rigon in Turkey.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Jules Bianchi ART 1m30.369s 2. Giedo van der Garde Addax 1m30.473s + 0.104s 3. Sam Bird iSport 1m30.488s + 0.119s 4. Charles Pic Addax 1m30.616s + 0.247s 5. Romain Grosjean DAMS 1m30.807s + 0.438s 6. Davide Valsecchi AirAsia 1m30.820s + 0.451s 7. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1m30.927s + 0.558s 8. Marcus Ericsson iSport 1m30.935s + 0.566s 9. Stefano Coletti Trident 1m30.974s + 0.605s 10. Luca Filippi Super Nova 1m31.084s + 0.715s 11. Max Chilton Carlin 1m31.192s + 0.823s 12. Josef Kral Arden 1m31.447s + 1.078s 13. Luiz Razia AirAsia 1m31.513s + 1.144s 14. Michael Herck Coloni 1m31.527s + 1.158s 15. Alvaro Parente Racing Engineering 1m31.636s + 1.267s 16. Esteban Gutierrez ART 1m31.645s + 1.276s 17. Kevin Ceccon Coloni 1m31.670s + 1.301s 18. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident 1m31.694s + 1.325s 19. Kevin Mirocha Ocean 1m31.757s + 1.388s 20. Pal Varhaug DAMS 1m31.779s + 1.410s 21. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova 1m31.821s + 1.452s 22. Jolyon Palmer Arden 1m31.822s + 1.453s 23. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin 1m31.977s + 1.608s 24. Julian Leal Rapax 1m32.934s + 2.565s 25. Johnny Cecotto Ocean 1m33.246s + 2.877s 26. Fabio Leimer Rapax