Valentino Rossi reckoned his fourth place in Valencia qualifying was a great result given that he had struggled for pace all weekend.
The former champion had looked like he might be in the lower reaches of the top 10 for much of qualifying before managing to get to the head of the second row.
"It was a difficult day but luckily we were able to improve the setting right at the end of the session, giving me a bit more grip and allowing me to push for a fast time at the end," said Rossi.
"We're fourth and considering how the practices have been this really isn't too bad."
Rossi admitted that on his present pace he would not be in the fight for race victory, but is optimistic that he can at least get on the podium even if the likes of polesitter Casey Stoner are out of reach.
"We will have to see tomorrow, it's going to be very hard and we're still in a bit of trouble, while the others are very fast, but if we can improve a bit more then we can try to challenge," said Rossi, who will leave Yamaha for Ducati after the Valencia race.
"It's not particularly difficult to overtake at this race so the second row isn't a big problem if we have a good pace.
"Stoner is very fast here, it looked like he was in a different sport today, but it's my last race for Yamaha and I will do everything I can to be on the podium."