Loris Capirossi reckons Suzuki only needs to take a small step forward in tomorrow's warm-up to be able to stay with the frontrunners in tomorrow's Assen TT.
After a disappointing start to the season, Capirossi has finished fifth in the last two grands prix and qualified sixth today, with his teammate Chris Vermeuelen seventh.
"Overall we have made another step with the setting and I am quite happy about that, but we still need to take another step tomorrow morning in the warm-up," said Capirossi.
"The whole team is working really hard and they really understand what I need. I am still losing a bit of front feeling, but it's not that bad and I think it is something we can overcome.
"Second row is not too bad and we will have to see what sort of start we get and try to keep with the front pack. I am quite optimistic for tomorrow because if we make the small step we are looking for we will be right up there challenging."
Capirossi is using Suzuki's upgraded engine this weekend, which Vermeulen hopes to receive from the next event at Laguna Seca if the Assen race goes smoothly.
The Australian has struggled for much of the season but was pleased with today's result and reckoned he could have gone even quicker. It was a fairly good qualifying for us and a lot better than the previous two GPs," said Vermeulen. "The team did a great job and made a big step forward with the bike.
"Unfortunately on my last run we were a bit close on time and I thought I'd get in one more lap, sadly I wasn't able to, but I am sure I would have improved my time -- and hopefully grid position -- because I made a couple of mistakes on my previous lap, which was my fastest, and I'm sure I'd have put them right.
"Seventh place is a bit closer to the front than we have been recently and I'm feeling quite confident and looking forward to a good race tomorrow."
Team boss Paul Denning hopes that the qualifying result will give Suzuki a chance to take plenty of points away from Assen.
"It's been extremely close amongst the fastest riders here at Assen this weekend and we've managed to get closer to the front group in qualifying than we were in free practice," he said.
"I think there are still some sizeable improvements we can make tomorrow to increase the confidence of both riders. Whatever happens with the bike -- or indeed the weather -- when you start in sixth and seventh places it gives you a much better chance to hang on to the back of the leaders in the early laps and see how the race develops."