MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo was not downcast about finishing Qatar Grand Prix qualifying 0.8 seconds off the Hondas' pace, as he had expected to be even further adrift.
The Yamaha rider had been very concerned about his bike's performance in the final winter test at the start of this week, and ruled out a shot at Losail victory. So he considered third place and the pace in qualifying he had shown to be a very encouraging result.
"A very tough qualifying. The track was better than normal this weekend so the lap times improved for all the riders," Lorenzo said. "We did the maximum. We are very proud of our lap time and our work this weekend, because if somebody had told me that I would do a 1m54.9s one week ago, I wouldn't have believed it. But now we are on 1m54.9s and we are on the first row, so for tomorrow I think we reach the podium – or try to. We are going for it."
Lorenzo shares the front row with works Honda duo Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa.