Jorge Lorenzo admitted that he had hoped to be a greater threat for Catalunya Grand Prix pole, but was satisfied with third in the end given a lack of grip during qualifying.
The world champion was very close to benchmark Casey Stoner's pace in final practice, but could not replicate that form in qualifying, where he just beat Yamaha team-mate Ben Spies and Honda's Andrea Dovizioso to third.
"I was pretty excited this morning because I felt very close to Casey Stoner and I hoped to improve a little bit more this afternoon," said Lorenzo.
"But I started the session and I didn't feel the same grip as this morning. I tried my maximum to be on the first row, because the other riders were so far. At the end, we did it."
Lorenzo is optimistic that he will be able to mount a strong challenge in the race from the outside of the front row.
"I feel good about the third position and I'm ready to fight tomorrow in the race," he said.