Kamui Kobayashi will lead an all-Japanese front-row for the second round of GP2 Asia after snatching pole position from Sakon Yamamoto during qualifying at Dubai.
Kobayashi, arguably the favourite for this year's title, waited until the circuit was at its best in the latter stages to pop in a 1min 41.091secs lap, his effort going on to prove a comfortable two tenths quicker than Yamamoto's.
The ex-Super Aguri and Spyker F1 driver had looked on course for a fine pole position as the seconds wasted away after he moved to the top of the timesheets in the closing stages, but the bonus point would ultimate go the way of his countryman.
Behind them, Vitaly Petrov will start third for Campos, despite being stymied by a clash with Chris van der Drift in the closing stages, while championship leader Roldan Rodriguez made a considerable improvement from practice to join the Russian driver on the second row.
Davide Valsecchi starts fifth for Durango, while Yelmer Buurman continued the fine form of GP2 debutants Ocean Racing Technology by securing sixth position on the grid for the feature race. Team-mate Fabrizio Crestani, meanwhile, will start 23rd.
Giedo van der Garde proved the best placed GP2 rookie in seventh, with Piquet GP's Diego Nunes moving up to eighth after making substantial gains on his performance in the morning. Sergio Perez and Jerome D'Ambrosio round out the top ten.
On a grid that saw the top 20 covered by just 1.8secs, sole British driver James Jakes will start 15th for Super Nova Racing, while practice pace setter Earl Bamber will begin down in a disappointing 16th after failing to get the best from the QI-Meritus car.