Esteban Ocon took the GP3 Series championship lead after snatching pole position for race one at Bahrain and the four points that go with it.
ART Grand Prix driver Ocon, who came into the weekend two points behind leader Luca Ghiotto, secured the top spot by an impressive 0.504s.
Arden’s Emil Bernstorff set the early pace on 1m47.806s, but was quickly toppled from P1 by Trident’s Ghiotto on 1m47.677s. Ocon was third-fastest at that point.
Russian racer Matevos Isaakyan then caused a red flag after 10mins, the Formula Renault 2.0 frontrunner stopping at Turn 10.
At the resumption, Kevin Ceccon leapt to third, 0.148s off the pole time.
In the closing moments, Alex Palou rocketed to the top of the times on 1m47.218s, just 0.041s ahead of Marvin Kirchhofer.
Ghiotto improved to 1m47.307s, which was only good enough for third, before Ocon jumped to the top on 1m46.684s – over half a second clear of his rivals.
Ceccon improved to 1m47.197s to go second, but Ghiotto beat him by 0.009s, snatching a front row spot at the chequered flag.
The title rivals will thus start alongside each other for Friday afternoon’s race one.
Palou will start fourth, ahead of Kirchhofer, Artur Janosz, Bernstorff and Jann Mardenborough.
|1||Esteban Ocon||ART Grand Prix||1:46.684|
|3||Kevin Ceccon||Arden International||1:47.197||0.513|
|4||Alex Palou||Campos Racing||1:47.218||0.534|
|5||Marvin Kirchhofer||ART Grand Prix||1:47.259||0.575|
|7||Emil Bernstorff||Arden International||1:47.663||0.979|
|9||Jimmy Eriksson||Koiranen GP||1:47.713||1.029|
|11||Alex Fontana||Status Grand Prix||1:47.944||1.260|
|12||Ralph Boschung||Jenzer Motorsport||1:47.947||1.263|
|14||Alfonso Celis||ART Grand Prix||1:48.103||1.419|
|15||Pal Varhaug||Jenzer Motorsport||1:48.109||1.425|
|16||Seb Morris||Status Grand Prix||1:48.265||1.581|
|18||Matt Parry||Koiranen GP||1:48.304||1.620|
|19||Matheo Tuscher||Jenzer Motorsport||1:48.314||1.630|
|20||Aleksander Bosak||Arden International||1:48.359||1.675|
|21||Matevos Isaakyan||Koiranen GP||1:48.576||1.892|
|22||Zaid Ashkanani||Campos Racing||1:48.775||2.091|
|23||Sandy Stuvik||Status Grand Prix||1:48.815||2.131|
|24||Konstantin Tereshchenko||Campos Racing||1:48.946||2.262|