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Kobayashi leads Japanese charge in Dubai.

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.


Related Pictures

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Kamui Kobayashi - DAMS [pic credit: GP2 Series Media]
Simon Trummer (SUI, Rapax), leads Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Julian Leal (COL, Carlin) at the start of Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), 1st, Simon Trummer (SUI, Rapax), 2nd, & Julian Leal (COL, Carlin), 3rd, take the chequered flag at the end of Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), celebrates his win in parc ferme after Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), celebrates his win with his mechanics after Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), receives his 3rd place trophy after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), is interviewed on the podium after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), is interviewed on the podium after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), walks to the podium after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), leads Stephane Richelmi (MON, DAMS) from the start during Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
The Safety Car leads Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) during Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) during Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), celebrates his win in parc ferme after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), celebrates his win with his team after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), celebrates his win with his team and McLaren mechanics after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), celebrates with his team after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Steven Tee/LAT Photographic.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), in parc ferme after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)

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