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Kobayashi inherits pole in Bahrain

Champion elect Kamui Kobayashi will start the opening GP2 Asia Series race of the weekend in Bahrain from pole position despite only setting the second quickest time in qualifying at the Middle East venue.

Kobayashi's DAMS team-mate Jerome D'Ambrosio had actually set the quickest time during the session, marking the second successive weekend he had led the way in qualifying, but a ten place grid penalty imposed on the Belgian for his incident in the feature race last time out at Sepang will move him back down the order.

The resulting two point bonus will therefore go to Kobayashi, extending his championship lead going into the final two races of the year.

“It's an ideal start for the team and by setting off from pole, our aim will be victory,” he said. “Track conditions are good; the circuit suits me and I hope to finish at the front. If incidents interfere with my race, I have to think of the title and not risk any collisions by going for victory at all costs.”

Roldan Rodriguez was third quickest for Piquet GP and will now start alongside Kobayashi on the front row, followed by Diego Nunes and Pastor Maldonado on the times. However, Maldonado was handed a five place penalty following the qualifying session and, like D'Ambrosio, will drop down the order as a result.

Luiz Razia was sixth quickest on the times but will make up two places before the race even begins due to the penalties ahead, while Giedo van der Garde, Davide Valsecchi, Javier Villa and Alvaro Parente rounded out the top ten on the timesheets. Parente could well have been higher on the grid had he not been baulked on his quickest lap by Maldonado.

While Kobayashi moved closer to the title with his pole, there was more bad luck for Vitaly Petrov, and after managing only a handful of laps during free practice, he made a wrong choice on tyres and could qualify only 20th on the grid.


Related Pictures

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Kamui Kobayashi - DAMS [pic credit: GP2 Media]
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2015 GP2 Series Test 3. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Wednesday 2 December 2015. Nicholas Latifi (CAN, DAMS) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
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2015 GP2 Series Test 3. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Thursday 3 December 2015. Nicholas Latifi (CAN, DAMS). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 11. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Sunday 29 November 2015. The red flag caused by the crash involving Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS), Norman Nato (FRA, Arden International), Nicolas Latifi (CAN, MP Motorsport), Daniel de Jong (NLD, Trident), Sean Gelael (INA, Carlin). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 11. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Saturday 28 November 2015. Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS), leads Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) & Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) at the start Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 11. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 28 November 2015. Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS) leads Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME), Alex Lynn (GBR, DAMS) and the rest of the field at the start of the race. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 11. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Friday 27 November 2015. Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 11. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Friday 27 November 2015. Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 9 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Friday 27 November 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 11. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 27 November 2015. Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 11. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 27 November 2015. Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.

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