Marcus Ericsson will start the final feature race of the 2013 GP2 Series from pole position at Yas Marina.
DAMS driver Ericsson set his third pole of the year with a 1m48.924s lap, pipping early pacesetter Alexander Rossi of Caterham by 0.007s.
Title contender Sam Bird will start third, with points leader Fabio Leimer two places further back.
With neither Bird nor Leimer claiming the four points for pole, Bird remains seven points in arrears to Leimer with the number now available dropping to 44.
Rossi set the pace from the start of the session during the first runs, taking provisional pole with 1m49.675s then topping that with a 1m49.276s as the supersoft tyre proved good for two flying laps.
The session required a red flag with six minutes to go, just as the cars were starting their final runs, as the left-rear wheelnut came off Daniel Abt’s ART car, soon followed by the wheel itself.
At that point, Rossi led the way from Jolyon Palmer (Carlin), Leimer and Bird. The other title contenders, Felipe Nasr and Stefano Coletti, were clearly struggling in 13th and 20th respectively.
As the frantic final minutes unravelled, and track conditions got faster, Ericsson set his pole lap on his first flyer, with Rossi getting to within seven-hundredths on his second lap.
Bird improved to 1m49.241s, over a tenth clear of Palmer, who had set the fastest first sector of all before he went off during his final effort.
Leimer got stuck in traffic and had to abort one lap, and only improved on his earlier effort by a fraction to qualify fifth.
Bird’s Russian Time team-mate Tom Dillmann will start alongside Leimer’s Racing Engineering machine, ahead of Johnny Cecotto Jr, Jon Lancaster, Nasr and Stephane Richelmi.
Coletti, whose season has been in freefall for the last nine races, qualified 18th.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1m48.924s 2. Alexander Rossi Caterham 1m48.931s +0.007s 3. Sam Bird Russian Time 1m49.241s +0.317s 4. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1m49.376s +0.452s 5. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1m49.485s +0.561s 6. Tom Dillmann Russian Time 1m49.672s +0.748s 7. Johnny Cecotto Jr Arden 1m49.680s +0.756s 8. Jon Lancaster Hilmer 1m49.827s +0.903s 9. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1m49.829s +0.905s 10. Stephane Richelmi DAMS 1m49.835s +0.911s 11. Dani Clos MP 1m49.846s +0.922s 12. Mitch Evans Arden 1m49.864s +0.940s 13. Sergio Canamasas Caterham 1m49.951s +1.027s 14. James Calado* ART 1m50.002s +1.078s 15. Rio Haryanto Addax 1m50.334s +1.410s 16. Nathanael Berthon Trident 1m50.446s +1.522s 17. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Hilmer 1m50.510s +1.586s 18. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1m50.534s +1.610s 19. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1m50.553s +1.629s 20. Simon Trummer Rapax 1m50.634s +1.710s 21. Jake Rosenzweig Addax 1m50.809s +1.885s 22. Rene Binder Lazarus 1m50.884s +1.960s 23. Daniel de Jong MP 1m50.906s +1.982s 24. Daniel Abt ART 1m50.907s +1.983s 25. Vittorio Ghirelli Lazarus 1m51.493s +2.569s 26. Gianmarco Raimondo Trident 1m52.311s +3.387s
*Will drop to 19th with grid penalty.