Romain Grosjean claimed pole position for GP2 Asia at Imola, denying Sam Bird in the final moments of the qualifying session.

iSport driver Bird had been sitting in provisional pole position as the session reached its conclusion, with Grosjean in second for DAMS. But the Frenchman set a blistering time on his final lap to steal pole from the Briton.

The result gives Grosjean a second pole position from the two GP2 Asia rounds after achieving the same result in qualifying at Abu Dhabi. He also set a new lap record for the Imola circuit's new configuration.

The achievement is even more impressive considering that Grosjean's car stopped out on track half way through the first morning practice session, which also kept him out of the second session.

The session was halted nine minutes in when a piece of car was found lying on the track.

Michael Herck had been amongst the pacesetters early in the session, and the Romanian Coloni driver ended up third behind Grosjean and Bird. In fourth was ART driver Jules Bianchi, who is now tied on points at the top of the standings after Grosjean collected two bonus points for his pole position. Giedo van der Garde was fifth for Addax.

Qualifying session times:

  Driver Team Laptime Gap Laps
1 Romain Grosjean Dams 1:27.067   15
2 Sam Bird iSport International 1:27.384 +0.317 14
3 Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 1:27.558 +0.491 15
4 Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 1:27.676 +0.609 16
5 Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:27.735 +0.668 15
6 Josef Kral Arden International 1:27.834 +0.767 16
7 Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:27.872 +0.805 15
8 Jolyon Palmer Arden International 1:27.898 +0.831 15
9 Davide Valsecchi Team AirAsia 1:27.909 +0.842 13
10 Mikhail Aleshin Carlin 1:27.988 +0.921 12
11 Luiz Razia Team AirAsia 1:28.073 +1.006 13
12 Andrea Caldarelli Ocean Racing Technology 1:28.093 +1.026 16
13 Fabio Leimer Rapax 1:28.143 +1.076 15
14 Oliver Turvey Ocean Racing Technology 1:28.151 +1.084 15
15 Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:28.160 +1.093 15
16 Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 1:28.194 +1.127 16
17 Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:28.310 +1.243 16
18 Max Chilton Carlin 1:28.332 +1.265 13
19 Pal Varhaug Dams 1:28.357 +1.290 15
20 Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:28.373 +1.306 14
21 Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 1:28.382 +1.315 16
22 Johnny Cecotto Super Nova Racing 1:28.490 +1.423 15
23 Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 1:28.549 +1.482 15
24 Julian Leal Rapax 1:28.644 +1.577 15
25 Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1:28.646 +1.579 15
26 Luca Filippi Scuderia Coloni 3:54.107 +27.040 1