Casey Stoner lamented a joyless final MotoGP qualifying session blighted by electronic issues that restricted him to third.
The Australian, targeting a victorious farewell at the Spanish track, was in the hunt for pole as he twice lowered the overall benchmark in the final 10 minutes.
When Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa dipped into the 1m30s bracket however Stoner was unable to respond, losing his bid to claim a 40th, and final, premier class pole.
Stoner bemoaned his bike's set-up and particularly the electrical settings that he had been unable to work on prior to qualifying due to the problematic practice conditions.
"I'm not particularly happy - it's been a miserable weekend so far," he said.
"I enjoy the circuit but not in these conditions, we've had just one dry session. There was a lot to do in a short space of time.
"We slowly made the chassis more comfortable, but couldn't make any progress with electronics.
"There are a few places I like to slide and use wheelspin here but we just couldn't get it working.
"It was quite frustrating to be honest; there was no joy for me to ride. I think we had more potential.
"The front row is good but we have a lot of work to do for tomorrow."
Stoner also criticised the relaid Valencia track surface, saying it had exacerbated, rather than solved, the bumpy nature of the track.
"The track was not what I expected, not as good," he said.
"Personally I found a lot worse bumps than ever been in past."