Colin Edwards overcame continued front end problems with his Tech 3 Yamaha, and a small crash, to claim sixth on the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix of Catalunya - while team-mate James Toseland was feeling frustrated despite a season's best ninth.
Edwards will start from sixth for the fourth time in 2009, despite a crash in the final five minutes. The American occupied fifth position at the time of his tumble, and therefore only lost one place despite missing the closing stages.
“I guess I'm pretty fortunate to have finished on the second row considering I crashed out at the crucial stage of the session,” admitted the 35-year-old. “We made some changes overnight to help me get more comfortable with the front-end and while it was better, I'm still not close to the comfort level I need to go as fast as I know I can.
“The crash was a bit weird because I lost the front really early while I was still hard braking and leaning over. Normally when I lose the front it's at the apex when I'm starting to force the front.
“If I'm being honest, on race tyres I'm not that confident because of the set-up issue with the front. I know Valentino, Jorge and Casey are all running a good pace and it's crucial to get a good start and try and tag onto the back of them.
“I'd love to say I'm going to be on the podium tomorrow, which is what I had aspirations of, but it's looking difficult. As always though I'll be giving it my all for Monster Yamaha Tech 3,” he added
Toseland easily enjoyed his best qualifying session of the 2009 campaign, but was left frustrated at being just 0.094sec away from fifth place Toni Elias.
“I can't believe I'm saying this after the season I've had but I'm frustrated with my best qualifying result of the season,” said the Englishman. “To finish under a tenth off fifth and be down in ninth is frustrating though, but at least I'm frustrated to be close to fifth and not fifteenth!
“On my last run I had a new front and rear, so it was difficult to get a good feeling straightaway with the front. In the last two corners on my last lap I had two big moments on the front and without doubt that cost me fifth place.
“It's a shame that I'm not on the second row because the way I'm riding and the way the team is working, we deserve to be a bit higher up, but we've all done a great job today and I've got a good chance in the race tomorrow,” he added.
The times were so close in the mid-field that just 0.283sec separated Elias from 14th placed Gresini Honda team-mate Alex de Angelis.