Casey Stoner said he had feared he might miss out on pole position for the British Grand Prix after a setup change failed to pay off in Silverstone qualifying.
The Honda rider had dominated all three practice sessions but faced a stern challenge from Marco Simoncelli and Jorge Lorenzo in the pole fight.
Stoner said an adjustment to the front of his Honda had left him struggling in qualifying trim.
"I felt we got quite lucky with pole position today," he admitted. "We tried a couple of things with the bike trying to get more edge grip and with race pace, with the hard tyre, we still did a 2m03.0s, which we're really happy with. I think we had a race distance or more than a race distance on the tire [when I did that time].
"But as for qualifying, we changed the front a little bit and on my best lap I lost the front two or three times. One of them was very small, but two were more than I'd like to push. I feel very lucky today that we managed to hold on for pole position because it's important for me tomorrow to have a good start and be able to be up front and trying to warm the tires up."
Despite his qualifying scares, Stoner said he felt extremely confident about his pace for Sunday regardless of what the weather brought.
"On Friday we had a good wet session – the entire session wasn't wet but at least we had some laps to understand where we want to go," he said. "It's still quite new to me in the wet [on the Honda]. We're having a few problems. But looking at the way we went this weekend, it doesn't really matter what conditions we get tomorrow.
"I'd definitely prefer dry, I think everybody does, it's not the nicest riding round on these bikes in the wet, but we feel ready for any conditions that it brings us."