Cal Crutchlow insisted he would not let his expectations get carried away after going second quickest in MotoGP free practice in Qatar.
The Tech 3 Yamaha had appeared near the head of the order several times during the weekend before being beaten only by works Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo in Friday's final session.
But despite his strong form so far, Crutchlow was adamant that talk of a pole or victory challenge would be unrealistic.
"I'm really happy to be second quickest but I'm not going to get carried away and say I will be on the front row tomorrow night," he said. "I think we can certainly be challenging for it but my expectations for the race on Sunday are to be battling for the top six and being closer to the leaders than last year."
Crutchlow played down the role of tire choice in his time - saying that although he had one of the softer compounds on the rear, his front tire was a worn hard.
"At the end I used the soft tire but I had an old hard compound front on," he said. "I was pushing the front but I am really happy with the lap time.
"I got held up a little bit too on my fastest lap coming out of the last corner by one of the CRT bikes. It just meant I changed from third to fourth gear a bit later than normal and I lost a bit of drive.
"I'm not going to say that would have put my quickest, but it would have been very close. But to be second and just over one-tenth behind Jorge is great for my confidence."
Andrea Dovizioso was an encouraging fourth on the second Tech 3 Yamaha.
"Each session I go out on the bike my feeling with the Yamaha improves and I am gaining a lot of confidence," he said. "Even during a race weekend like this when you don't have so many laps, we have made some very big improvements and this is very positive.
"We didn't make any special changes to the bike but the improvement comes from me having a better understanding of how to use the Yamaha's potential and now I am really confident for qualifying. Maybe the front row will be difficult but I will be trying my best."