Casey Stoner, winner at Qatar for the past three seasons, insists he's taking nothing for granted despite enjoying a 0.526sec advantage over the field during Friday practice for the season-opening 2010 event.
The Australian set his best effort on his ninth lap of seventeen, having switched bikes midway through the session due to a small technical glitch when the water hose split on his number one bike.
However, he also set a similar pace on his second machine, indicating there will be further improvements when the data is overlapped tomorrow.
"Today felt really good - we had a similar rhythm to the test and I didn't feel to be pushing too hard,” said Ducati Marlboro's 2007 world champion. “I had a really good feeling from the start and actually when we changed the setting I went faster but didn't feel as good, so we need to work on that.
“This is obviously a good circuit for me but we're taking things steadily. The target for this weekend is to take away some solid points and make a good start to the season. It is early days and we're not getting carried away.
“We set some good lap times today but everybody else will improve so we have to work hard tomorrow and make sure we stay on the pace right through until Sunday night."
Team-mate Nicky Hayden was 1.293sec behind Stoner in fifth.