Dani Pedrosa regarded his second place on the Qatar Grand Prix grid as a very satisfying result despite having been unable to beat Honda team-mate Casey Stoner to pole.
The Spaniard was 0.2 seconds slower than the polesitter, but having never qualified above fifth at Losail in MotoGP, Pedrosa felt he had made a breakthrough in his performance at the track.
"I really was looking for the front row because it's my first time on the front row on this track, so this is already a big step for me," he said. "I've normally been on the third row on this track, so I'm happy about this."
Honda has been dominant both in pre-season testing and practice in Qatar. Although Pedrosa was confident that he has a very competitive bike for the season opener, he said it was important not to take anything for granted.
"The lap times were very fast so this is also cool," said Pedrosa. "But we have to focus for tomorrow's race. I hope I can bring home a good result for the first race. The bike is working well so I hope I can do a great race."