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Jose Maria Lopez has taken another small step towards the 2014 World Touring Car Championship title by claiming a fifth pole position of the season for round ten in Shanghai.

With Citroen looking to recover its dominance at the Chinese Grand Prix venue after a relative struggle around the low-speed Goldenport Park Circuit last week, the C-Elysee was again the car to beat come qualifying, with Lopez turning around the practice form book to fend off local driver Ma Qing Hua for pole.

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Taking him slightly closer to the 2014 title with just six races of the season remaining, Lopez was a tenth of a second up on Hua, the Chinese driver well placwd for a better result on home soil after a difficult weekend in Beijing a week earlier.

Lopez's title rival Yvan Muller heads up row two in third place, with Zengo Honda's Norbert Michelisz breaking up the Citroens in fourth place in front of Sebastien Loeb, who made an error on his best lap.

Outside the top five, Honda's Tiago Monteiro leads team-mate Gabriele Tarquini in sixth and seventh, with Goldenport race winner Tom Chilton landing in eighth place from Hugo Valente and Mehdi Bennani.

Following its historic win in Beijing, LADA endured a more difficult qualifying session, with no Granta breaking out the first qualifying knockout phase. James Thompson, Rob Huff and Mikhail Kozlvskiy will start together in 14th, 15th and 16th respectively.