Antonio Giovinazzi will start on pole position for the third round of the GP2 Series around the streets of Baku after successfully reacting to late improvements from Nobuharu Matsushita.

Second quickest after free practice, the Prema Racing driver spent much of qualifying at the top of the timesheets but would find himself under pressure in the closing stages when he was displaced by Honda prot?g? Matsuhita.

However, another quick run around the Azerbaijan circuit would see the rookie Italian grab pole by less than a tenth from the Monaco sprint race winner, who starts alongside him on the front row.

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Matsushita's ART team-mate Sergey Sirotkin heads up row two, ahead of Raffaele Marciello and another Italian rookie in Luca Ghiotto. Oliver Rowland will start sixth in the MP Motorsport car, ahead of Marvin Kirchhofer, Pierre Gasly and championship leader Norman Nato.

Elsewhere, championship contender Alex Lynn starts down in 13th alongside Nicholas Latifi on a difficult day for the DAMS outfit, while Monaco race winner Artem Markelov gets underway from 12th.

A session that was postponed from earlier after track inspections revealed problems with the kerbs, Philo Paz Armand caused a red flag when it did get underway when he out-braked at turn 3 and was unable to turn around.