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Clos takes maiden pole in Monaco

Dani Clos, Racing Engineering, Monaco 2010Dani Clos will start tomorrow's GP2 feature race in Monaco from pole position after coming out on top in a dramatic qualifying session this afternoon.

On a track that was drying out after a wet start to the session, the Racing Engineering driver produced a late lap of 1m37.572s to edge out Barwa Addax's Sergio Perez by just 0.033 seconds. It is the Spaniard's first GP2 pole, and comes just a week after he finished on the podium at Barcelona.

Ironically, Clos owed a lot to Rapax's Pastor Maldonado, who had led most of the session and had improved his time again with just 30 seconds remaining, only to immediately crash into the barriers at Ste Devote, bringing out the yellows and ensuring that no one behind him could improve their times.

However the flags were no guarantee that nobody else would make the same mistake as Maldonado, as iSport's Davide Valsecchi proved moments later by also going wide and skidding into the stricken Rapax car.

But both Clos and Perez were already on fast laps ahead of Maldonado at the time of his accident and were able to complete their runs to move ahead of the Venezuelan at the last moment, dropping him back to third on the grid alongside Coloni's Alberto Valerio.

It was a mixed afternoon for some of the other favourites, including Barcelona feature race winner Charles Pic, who will start from 18th for Arden, and iSport's Oliver Turvey, who will start from last after knocking off his front wing. The Briton will be joined on the back row by Trident's Johnny Cecotto, who had sideswiped the barriers earlier.

Pos  Driver               Team                Time       Gap
 1.  Dani Clos            Racing Engineering  1m37.572s
 2.  Sergio Perez         Barwa Addax         1m37.605s  + 0.033s
 3.  Pastor Maldonado     Rapax               1m38.512s  + 0.940s
 4.  Alberto Valerio      Coloni              1m38.901s  + 1.329s
 5.  Fabio Leimer         Ocean               1m39.072s  + 1.500s
 6.  Jules Bianchi        ART                 1m39.146s  + 1.574s
 7.  Davide Valsecchi     iSport .            1m39.255s  + 1.683s
 8.  Jerome D'Ambrosio    DAMS                1m39.363s  + 1.791s
 9.  Christian Vietoris   Racing Engineering  1m39.413s  + 1.841s
10.  Luiz Razia           Rapax               1m39.544s  + 1.972s
11.  Sam Bird             ART                 1m39.638s  + 2.066s
12.  Giedo van der Garde  Barwa Addax         1m39.812s  + 2.240s
13.  Marcus Ericsson      Super Nova          1m39.826s  + 2.254s
14.  Ho-Pin Tung          DAMS                1m39.926s  + 2.354s
15.  Adrian Zaugg         Trident             1m40.237s  + 2.665s
16.  Max Chilton          Ocean               1m40.495s  + 2.923s
17.  Giacomo Ricci        DPR                 1m40.520s  + 2.948s
18.  Charles Pic          Arden               1m40.767s  + 3.195s
19.  Rodolfo Gonzalez     Arden               1m40.881s  + 3.309s
20.  Josef Kral           Super Nova          1m40.973s  + 3.401s
21.  Vlado Arabadzhiev    Coloni              1m41.733s  + 4.161s
22.  Michael Herck        DAMS                1m42.039s  + 4.467s
23.  Johnny Cecotto       Trident             1m43.090s  + 5.518s
24.  Oliver Turvey        iSport              1m43.595s  + 6.023s
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