Cal Crutchlow said he was satisfied with taking a front-row starting spot for MotoGP's Aragon race, despite spending more than half the session clear at the top of the timesheets.
The Briton made his move at the session's halfway point and, by improving upon his own benchmark several times, was often six tenths clear of the field.
Two minutes from the end however the championship's two protagonists Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa upped their pace and demoted the Briton to third.
Though he improved his time, Crutchlow could not fight his way back to the front and instead had to settle for third - a result he says still stands him in good stead for Sunday.
"It's one of those things unfortunately, you win some and lose some," Crutchlow said following qualifying.
"I'm happy enough with the front row. I would have liked pole but it makes no difference for the race really.
"I'm confident. It was the first dry session and we were up there the whole session, fast on the first and second set of tyres. It's our third front row on the bounce, so I'm pleased enough."
He reckoned pole would have still been possible but for some traffic.
"There's no doubt we should have had pole, but I got caught up with a backmarker," he said.
"I knew [Lorenzo and Pedrosa] would come at the end, we saved a set of tyres but I got caught up on the downhill chicane."
Crutchlow cautioned that he expected both Lorenzo and Pedrosa to make further progress overnight, and said his chances of challenging for victory depended on Tech 3 doing the same.
"Having missed track time with the two days the other guys had, I thought we'd be struggling more," he admitted.
"I think they will catch up overnight. Hopefully they don't gain too much advantage overnight, but we have to make sure we do too to be there at the end [of the race]."