Andrea Dovizioso admitted he surprised himself by getting a Ducati on the front row for MotoGP's French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
Ducati's best 2013 qualifying result prior to Le Mans had been Dovizioso's fourth in Qatar.
The Italian was stunned to get within 0.4 seconds of polesitter and championship leader Marc Marquez's Honda.
"We knew our bike would work better on this track, but I didn't expect the first row - especially before qualifying," said Dovizioso.
"My pace is not too bad, we are closer to the faster riders compared to at other tracks, but I didn't expect this lap time.
"When I saw the splits on the lap I was really surprised."
Ducati has yet to take a top-six finish this season, but Dovizioso thinks the team's improvement will be apparent in the race too, whatever the weather.
"Here we have better pace so I'm confident tomorrow I can do a good rhythm, which is our target," he said.
"I hope to have a dry race but it looks like the Ducati also works in the wet."