Colin Edwards is hoping he can challenge the frontrunners in Sunday's British Grand Prix at Donington Park, which he will start in sixth position for Monster Yamaha Tech 3.
The Texan, the highest ranked satellite rider with fifth in the world championship standings, knows it'll be a big ask to break into the 'big four' 2009 race winners, but race day rain could help him claim a third - and final - Donington MotoGP podium.
“I'm happy with the way I rode but getting close to those guys at the front is getting tough,” said Edwards, whose best lap was 0.749sec behind pole sitter Valentino Rossi. “They are running a pretty fast pace but I'm confident if I can get a good start that I'll be able to stay with them for the race.
“I'm moving in the right direction with the setting and the changes we've made to the front forks and experimenting with my body position has improved the front feeling. But with no testing now it is difficult to get used to something so different quickly and I just need a bit more time to adapt because I know we can make the feeling much better.
“I'm still not sure which race tyre I'm going to run. I'd like to have the best of both compounds on one tyre. We need the left side of the softer tyre and the right side of the hard one. But deliberating that might be for nothing because I hear we're probably going to be under water here tomorrow anyway on rain tyres.
“We got some time in the rain yesterday so I'm happy I've got a set-up for rain or dry conditions. I really want a good result with it being the last British GP at Donington Park. I've had a lot of success here in the past and it would be good to sign off in style,” concluded Edwards, who has claimed a best finish of fourth twice this year.
Team-mate and home hero James Toseland will start from ninth position - his joint best of the season and eight places higher than last year - for what could be a pivotal race in terms of his MotoGP career.
“I'm happy but at the same time a little bit frustrated because we didn't have a really good base setting this morning,” said the #52. “We were too hard on the front and rear. I didn't have much feel at all and I was only doing low 1.32s, so to do 1.29s this afternoon I'm really happy.
“At least I've given myself a good chance of battling for that top six tomorrow and that was always my target. Today was definitely better than last year's qualifying, although it couldn't really have been much worse.