Jorge Lorenzo admitted that fourth on the Portuguese Grand Prix grid was the best he could do, as he struggled with his Yamaha's handling in Estoril qualifying.
The 2010 world champion had taken pole on all four previous Estoril MotoGP appearances prior to Saturday, but could not make it onto the front row this year.
"The main problem for me today was that in Turn 1 and 2 I couldn't enter aggressively so I lost a lot of time in this section," said Lorenzo. "In general the bike is not giving me a good feeling so this lap time was the maximum I could get today."
Lorenzo is also concerned that it will be difficult to get past third-place qualifier Cal Crutchlow's Tech 3 Yamaha on Sunday.
"We are in fourth but tomorrow is going to be hard as I have to try to pass Cal who is a hard braker!" said Lorenzo. "I will keep thinking positive and see what we can do."
Ben Spies, who had been quickest on Friday morning, put the second works Yamaha fifth on the grid. He said his big issue had been traffic.
"It was a tough session for everybody, the annoying thing was that three of my best laps were blocked but that's just the way it goes," Spies said. "Two of them I think could have been avoided but one of them was just a racing incident.
"We're on the second row in the middle and we're a lot better than we were in Jerez. I feel good on the bike and I just need to keep building the confidence now. Being three tenths behind Jorge at this track is pretty good."