Lopez on pole in Moscow
Citroen driver Jose Maria Lopez claimed his third pole position of the season at the Moscow Raceway on Saturday.
The Argentinian edged Gabriele Tarquini into second place by two tenths of a second while title rival Yvan Muller dropped off after the second qualifying session in sixth.
Lopez told fiawtcc.com: "I'm very happy, obviously, as I didn't expect to be on pole position.
"After this morning's practices I was a bit nervous as I didn't know what to expect. This is a very difficult track but thanks to the team I managed to improve the car and my lap times throughout the day.
"In Q1 I noticed after my first flying lap that everything felt good and I elected not to change too much on the car for Q2 and Q3. I was of course helped by the fact that Yvan didn't make it into Q3.
"The points for pole position here could eventually be worth their weight in gold at the end of the championship. It's also good to see that the Honda's are improving as this will make for even better races which will be good for the championship."
Tarquini was frustrated to miss out on pole but was pleased with how close his Honda got to Lopez's Citroen.
He said: "I was surprised by my lap times when I put new tyres on for the first time in Q1. I tried to adapt my driving style a bit to improve a bit more, but I didn't and even made a few mistakes.
"I then changed something for Q3 but in the end it didn't work as planned.
"That said, we've never been so close to Citroen. Pole could have been possible since I set my fastest lap in Q1, but at least I can start from second on the grid."
Tom Coronel and Gianni Morbidelli who were both eliminated after Q1, while LADA Sport were unable to make Q2 when Rob Huff was kicked off by Hugo Valente.