Gabriele Tarquini took Pole for the first of tomorrow’s WTCC races at Imola. The Italian went two tenths quicker than team-mate Yvan Muller to seal the all important first position, in front of his home crowd.

“It is very nice for me to start from pole position for my home race,” said Tarquini. “From memory this is my first home pole position – but then again my memory is not great!”

“Pole doesn't give you extra points but it does give you a chance to lead and avoid incidents. We don't need to win every race but like we showed in Oschersleben we need to score at every race.”

SEAT locked out the top 3 with Swede Rickard Rydell less than two tenths back, and with Chevy driver Rob Huff 4th and the fourth works SEAT of  Tiago Monteiro in 5th. This meant the lead BMW of Augusto Farfus had to settle for 6th, and crucially several positions behing his championship rivals.

Alain Menu never got the chance to qualify higher than 10th place, after his Chevrolet Cruze started spewing oil at the end of Q1.

It was a terrible qualifying session for BMW however, as Andy Priaulx was the only other works car to make it into the Top 10, with the remaining 3 BMWs of Sergio Hernandez, Jorg Muller and Alex Zanardi qualifying 11th, 12th and 13th respectively.

Another Italian, Stefano D’Aste took the Independents Pole, ahead of Felix Porteiro and Tom Coronel, but was not confident on his chances of taking victory tomorrow.

“To be honest I thought Tom (Coronel) or one of the other front wheel drive cars would be on pole. Tomorrow rain is forecast which would make things even more tricky for the BMW cars.”

Qualifying Results

Pos Driver                  Car             Q1              Q2
 1. Gabriele Tarquini       SEAT            1m56.139s       1m55.530s
 2. Yvan Muller             SEAT            1m55.840s       1m55.726s
 3. Rickard Rydell          SEAT            1m55.847s       1m55.891s
 4. Rob Huff                Chevrolet       1m56.610s       1m56.044s
 5. Tiago Monteiro          SEAT            1m56.189s       1m56.252s
 6. Augusto Farfus          BMW             1m56.393s       1m56.257s
 7. Andy Priaulx            BMW             1m56.873s       1m56.286s
 8. Jordi Gene              SEAT            1m56.392s       1m56.418s
 9. Nicola Larini           Chevrolet       1m56.704s       1m56.522s
10. Alain Menu              Chevrolet       1m56.972s       no time
11. Sergio Hernandez        BMW             1m57.026s
12. Jorg Muller             BMW             1m57.121s
13. Alex Zanardi            BMW             1m57.208s
14. Stefano D'Aste          BMW             1m57.306s
15. James Thompson          Lada            1m57.331s
16. Felix Porteiro          BMW             1m57.419s
17. Tom Coronel             SEAT            1m57.472s
18. Mehdi Bennani           SEAT            1m57.787s
19. Kristian Poulsen        BMW             1m57.962s
20. Franz Engstler          BMW             1m58.029s
21. Tom Boardman            SEAT            1m58.170s
22. Jaap van Lagen          Lada            1m58.388s
23. Kirill Ladygin          Lada            1m58.990s
24. Andrea Larini           SEAT            1m59.056s
25. Fabio Fabiani           BMW             2m02.619s