Ben Spies said he was very satisfied with his qualifying breakthrough at Assen, though he was sure he could have been on pole position had he not backed off when Loris Capirossi crashed.
For the first time since joining the works Yamaha team for 2011, Spies out-qualified his champion teammate Jorge Lorenzo and put his bike on the front row of the grid.
"It's great to be on the front row for Yamaha at this special event. It's a good feeling for us," said second-place starter Spies, whose team is celebrating 50 years in grand prix racing this weekend. "We're still a little disappointed today. We definitely had a shot at the pole.
"Hopefully Loris is going to be OK. Unfortunately, I can't be upset because the rider's health is more important than a pole position, but it was also on my best lap when he crashed and I had to slow down through the left-hand corner. But the front row is fine with me for tomorrow and our race pace with the bike seems really good."
Capirossi was taken to the circuit's medical center for checks after his accident.
Spies added that even though there was a slight frustration at missing pole by 0.009sec, having only taken one podium so far this season, he was happy to be among the frontrunners.
"Just to be back on the front row is good after the start of the season we've been having," he said.