Dani Pedrosa was asking for a few more tenths of race pace from his Repsol Honda team after qualifying a close third, just 0.165sec from pole, at Le Mans on Saturday.
"At the end of the session we could put in a good final lap which has put us on the front row, and this is very important because the lap times are very close here,” said Pedrosa, who will start behind the Fiat Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.
“For the race we need to find some tenths of a second per lap in order to be able to keep a high pace, and at this track you have to be very focused because the race is long and it's really important to be consistent and not to make any mistakes. Anyway I think we are in a good position.”
Team manager Toshiyuki Yamaji believes Pedrosa, who came within half a lap of victory at Jerez, can go one place better on Sunday.
“Dani's pace is very close to the riders in front of him and I think with a good start he can have a strong race,” he said. “It's his 150th grand prix and it would be fantastic if he could fight at the front and win this special race. I think he has a good chance.”
Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who lost third to Pedrosa in the closing stages of last year's wet/dry race, will start from seventh.
“I cannot be happy to start from the third row because this has the potential to make the race more complicated. So it will it be important to make a good start and stay with the front group - that's the plan now,” said the Italian.