Dani Pedrosa denied that his Jerez pole meant an end to the stability problems he has been struggling with on the 2010 Honda, and played down hopes of a home victory on Sunday.
Seventh in both qualifying and the race at round one in Qatar, Pedrosa has been fourth, second and first in the three track sessions in Spain - where he has a new stiffer chassis.
“The new frame is delivering some improvements but we're still not all the way there and we must continue to work on the stability,” said the Repsol rider.
Pedrosa pushed arch-rival Jorge Lorenzo from pole with 16 minutes of the qualifying hour to go and was 0.285sec ahead of the Fiat Yamaha rider at the chequered flag - although if Lorenzo had repeated his morning pace he would have been on pole.
“I really pushed because I wanted to be on the front of the grid, but I didn't expect that pole,” said Pedrosa afterwards. “Anyway I think Yamaha still has something in the pocket for the race.
“For the moment we are still having a lot of problems and the bike is shaking all the time. The pole really doesn't matter a lot to me, but we hope to do a great race.
“Obviously I will start the race thinking about the win, and I know there will be a lot of fans out there cheering for me so I hope we can give them something special,” added the 2008 Jerez winner.
“We know Dani is especially strong at this track but his speed in qualifying even surprised me a little bit and this is as much down to him as it is the improvement we're making to the RC212V,” admitted team manager Toshiyuki Yamaji.
Pedrosa's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, third at Qatar, will start just ninth at Jerez after a reversal in fortunes for the two factory Honda riders.
“I actually think we could have made it onto the second row today so I'm a little disappointed with the result this afternoon because it can be very important to start from the first two rows,” said the Italian. “We showed our full potential in the morning session where we were four tenths behind the fastest rider, so it's a shame we couldn't repeat that in qualifying.
“For the afternoon we made some adjustments to the electronics and machine set-up and this actually took us back a step, so tomorrow we will return to this morning's set-up and I'm confident that will give us an improvement. Starting from the third row it will be important to make a good getaway and stay glued to the front riders because this is key to having a good race - as we saw in Qatar.”