Casey Stoner believes he could not have gone any faster in German Grand Prix qualifying - no matter how hard he tried.
The championship leader secured his sixth pole position of the year at the Sachsenring after beating his Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa to the top spot by 0.252s.
But he thinks that the set-up of his bike prevented him from maximising his lap times on Bridgestone's soft qualifying rubber.
"After practice we knew we weren't fast enough, so for qualifying we decided to go in a completely different direction with each bike and just see how we got on," said the 2007 world champion.
"At the end of the run on the hard tyre we got some really good laps, but when I put the softs on I just couldn't go much faster; a little bit, but not the usual step."
The Australian declared happy satisfied with the pole, which was the 28th of his career.
"I am, although we left it till the last minute on the tyres. After yesterday [when he crashed at Turn 3 in practice], when all my confidence was gone, today was a big step forward."