Casey Stoner said his Jerez pole position came despite the Honda team having taken a wrong turn on setup in qualifying and that he should have an even better setting for the race.
The Australian beat team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo to the top spot despite having traditionally struggled at the Spanish track, but Stoner revealed that Honda would be reverting to its practice setting rather than the one it used for the pole lap.
"This morning I was really happy with the way the bike was working on used tires. We did more than a race distance and was not too far off my fastest lap time, so we were really happy," he said. "This afternoon we wanted to continue that, put a lot more laps on a set of hard tires and see if we could improve it. We didn't seem to be really going in the right direction: every time we seemed to find a bit more grip, we'd lose the feeling in the front so we were trying to just find that balance.
"When we put the soft tire on, we weren't really happy with the way the bike was working, so I think we'll come back to what we had this morning."
The session saw a huge number of crashes, with Stoner himself going off at the first corner on his final lap. He ran straight on into the gravel and allowed the Honda to tip gently before it could hit the barriers.
"After I did my best lap on one set, we went to the second set and the tires didn't feel quite as good so I wanted to push the front a little bit harder into corners," Stoner explained. "I got on the brakes a little too hard, the rear came up and as I let the brakes off I had way too much speed. We were pretty lucky to pull that one up, but we ended up playing in the sandpit a bit."
Although his incident was due to tire behaviour, he acknowledged that the gusty conditions had been causing most of the problems.
"The conditions have been pretty tough this weekend, from the morning session to the afternoon has really been completely different," said Stoner. "With the wind picking up, it makes things quite difficult and it's making us push the front a little bit more than we'd like to.
"But it's the same conditions for everybody. For the race tomorrow, if the wind's going to pick up going toward the afternoon, we should see similar conditions, and that's also got the chance of bringing in some rain."