Suzuki team manager Paul Denning described Alvaro Bautista's fourth place on the Australian Grand Prix grid as "almost funny."
The Japanese manufacturer has traditionally struggled at Phillip Island, and was expected to do likewise at this weekend's event. However, Bautista, who has performed strongly during the second half of the season, found a tow from Andrea Dovizioso's Honda, which was enough to drag him to fourth place on the grid; a career-best for the former 125cc world champion.
Denning said: "Alvaro has had a steady pace all weekend and when it mattered today he managed to tuck in behind Dovizioso, use him as a windbreak, and do an absolutely awesome lap time.
"It's been clear from the potential shown this year just how much the GSV-R has improved and for it to perform around here in cold and windy conditions. But to do that here is almost funny. As always, to live with the factory Hondas and Yamahas will be a tough ask tomorrow, but Alvaro has put himself into a great position and if he can get a good start who knows what can happen."
Bautista, who lies 12th in the championship, and has been Suzuki's lone rider for most of the season, added: "I'm very happy with today, because I got my best qualifying result so far in MotoGP and at the toughest track for Suzuki, so that shows what good work we have done since last year.
"It was a fantastic lap behind Dovizioso and when I saw him in front of me on the track, I thought this is my opportunity -- if I can't do a good lap now, I'll never do one!
"Third row was not difficult to achieve today, but when I followed him everything seemed easier. With this type of track in this wind and with these types of corners, it helps if you can follow another rider, you can certainly improve a lot and it feels much easier to ride."