showed he will be the man to beat for pole position today. The Italian set the best laptime in this mornings thirty minutes free practice session in Bahrain, a clear 0.6s ahead of Carlins Max Chilton
The second round of the 2012 GP2 Series season opened up in scorching temperatures in Sakhir, Bahrain. Johnny Cecotto
was the first driver to take to the track, but it was Felipe Nasr
who set the early pace with a 1:42.713, two tenths quicker than his teammate Valsecchi. A few minutes later, Cecotto moved up to P1 with Chilton making his way to P3, splitting up the DAMS
Turn 2 was yellow flagged just before the mid-session as Tom Dillmann
stopped on track following mechanical gremlins, and as soon as the track cleared Valsecchi put his head down and flew to P1 in a blazing 1:41.417 edging out Cecotto. The Italian became the only driver to dip under 1m42s. His rivals were then on a mission to catch him. Series leader Luiz Razia
moved up to P4 just before the clock showed fifteen minutes remaining in the session.
While most of the drivers made their way back to the pits, Chilton benefitted from a clear track to improve his latpime and take P2 ahead of Nasr. Fabio Leimer
also found some extra pace on a traffic-free circuit to claim P5, but later dropped to P6 after Razia improved and moved up to P5. The closing minutes of the session saw very little change in the classification and at the chequered flag Valsecchi remained top ahead of Chilton, Cecotto, Nasr, Razia, Leimer, Esteban Gutiérrez, James Calado
, Dani Clos
and Fabio Onidi.