Alvaro Bautista claimed his best ever MotoGP grid position by qualifying eighth at Misano - but was disappointed by the result as he felt he had a chance to be several places higher.
Suzuki's sole rider has been making good progress in recent rounds, though his pace has been stronger in races than in qualifying trim. In today's qualifying session for the San Marino Grand Prix he was again pleased with his long-run times, and felt his final flying lap could have been stronger.
"I started with the harder tyre in the hot conditions to see if it worked well," Bautista explained. "It was not too bad and I was riding at 1m35.0s on most laps, but the exit from the corner with hard gas caused me to slide and go wide.
"We changed to the softer rear we had been using in the morning and I had a good feeling with that compound, and could ride mid-1m34s all the time.
"At the end I couldn't make a best lap because there was a bit of traffic and some slower riders that I couldn't get past, so I lost the chance to make a good lap time."
Team boss Paul Denning shared Bautista's slight frustration.
"It's strange that Misano has seen our best qualifying result of the year so far, but in fact we are a bit disappointed by the result," said Denning. "Alvaro made a steady rhythm at 1m35.0s with the hard rear tyre and then we compared it to the soft rear tyre from this morning, and he immediately made his qualifying time of 1m34.3s, which at the time was good for fourth.
"Having put on fresh tyres we were all hoping - Alvaro included - that a 33-something was possible, but a combination of traffic and a couple of errors took the chance away."
Bautista hopes he can stay close to the leaders in the race and improve on the sixth place he took at Indianapolis last week.
"I think we have a good set-up for tomorrow and the grid position is even better than last week, so if I get a good start I think I can push right up there," he said.
"I want to stay with the front guys for the maximum amount of time as possible and make a race and get a result like Indy - or even better."