Jorge Lorenzo admitted that he had not expected to get so close to pole position for the British Grand Prix after lapping within 0.2 seconds of Casey Stoner's pole time at Silverstone.
Last year's British GP winner had been hugely frustrated to trail the pacesetting Honda by a second in practice, but surprised himself with how much he gained in qualifying.
"I'm pretty happy with my bike on the soft tyre and I think with the right conditions for us it's better on the soft tyres," said Lorenzo. "I improved more than I expected this afternoon."
The Yamaha rider said he put everything into an 'aggressive' final run, and was delighted with how much the gap to Stoner had narrowed.
"I rode very well - very aggressive and with a good pace," Lorenzo said.
"We couldn't have done the pole position, but two tenths behind is not the same as being one second behind."