Dani Pedrosa blamed the return of chatter issues in what he called a "difficult" MotoGP qualifying session at Motegi.
With five minutes to go the Spaniard had been relegated to a place on the provisional third row, although he ultimately recovered to second, with only a last-gasp effort from Jorge Lorenzo denying him pole.
Despite that revival, the Honda rider was far from enthused by his session, with the return of chatter - a problem which plagued Honda at the start of this season - proving particularly worrying.
"It's always important to be on the front row, sure, but it was a difficult session for me," Pedrosa admitted. "We had many problems, especially chattering. We couldn't find a way to deal with that, and [in trying to do so] I spent a lot of time in the pits and didn't do many laps on the track.
"Towards the end we were not so good in the standings and I had to push, but I made the best of the situation and finally scored second.
"Tomorrow I'm hoping for better, though, and not to have this chattering."