The Dams driver's best laptime of 1:27.067 was a track record on the new configuration.

The Frenchman stole iSport’s Sam Bird’s thunder in the dying seconds of the qualifying session after the Brit looked set for pole position on the ten minute mark.

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Bird, who was fastest during the morning's session, had slowly moved his way up the timing sheet, and set a best laptime of 1:27.384 with just minute to spare.

However, on his final lap, Grosjean put in his best effort and shattered Bird's dream of pole, and repeated his Abu Dhabi performance.

With this second pole position, Grosjean pockets another two points increasing his total to twelve points – the exact same number as Jules Bianchi at the top of the standings, leaving Saturday's feature race crucial for the title.

Imola – Qualifying session

1. Romain Grosjean Dams 1:27.067

2. Sam Bird iSport International 1:27.384

3. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 1:27.558

4. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 1:27.676

5. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:27.735

6. Josef Kral Arden International 1:27.834

7. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:27.872

8. Jolyon Palmer Arden International 1:27.898

9. Davide Valsecchi Team AirAsia 1:27.909

10. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin 1:27.988

11. Luiz Razia Team AirAsia 1:28.073

12. Andrea Caldarelli Ocean Racing Technology 1:28.093

13. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1:28.143

14. Oliver Turvey Ocean Racing Technology 1:28.151

15. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:28.160

16. Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 1:28.194

17. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:28.310

18. Max Chilton Carlin 1:28.332

19. Pal Varhaug Dams 1:28.357

20. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:28.373

21. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 1:28.382

22. Johnny Cecotto Super Nova Racing 1:28.490

23. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 1:28.549

24. Julian Leal Rapax 1:28.644

25. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1:28.646

26. Luca Filippi Scuderia Coloni 3:54.107

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