Casey Stoner is cautiously optimistic that he and Ducati 'might have found something' after ending an eleven round pole drought at Aragon on Saturday.
The 2007 world champion, without a win so far this season, has experimented with a modified weight distribution at the new Spanish circuit, which appeared to improve both rear grip and handling.
“We've been trying different things for the last few weekends to try and get the bike more competitive without making really big progress but it looks like we might have found something here," said Stoner, who took pole by 0.309sec from world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo.
"We've changed the weight distribution a little bit and it has given me more grip and confidence. Maybe it's just the fact the bike suits this place but either way we've got to be happy to be back on pole for the first time since Qatar.
"I also like riding at new circuits – when you haven't already done a million laps around a place it's always refreshing.
"We have to wait and see how the race pans out and see if I can run with these guys because we've had a few false dawns already this season so we don't want to get ahead of ourselves but we feel good in race trim and I'm looking forward to it.”
Team-mate Nicky Hayden, meanwhile, benefitted from the switch to a different aerodynamics package - featuring a larger front fairing for a circuit that features the longest straight on the MotoGP calendar.
Hayden highest top speed was still 5.5km/h slower than Stoner, but the American was pleased to qualify at the head of row two in fourth place.
“Overall it's been a positive day. We have had two dry sessions and I had fun – we constantly made the bike a little bit faster and even though it would have been nice to be on the front row, we're only a tenth off, the team is doing a great job and we have to be satisfied," said Hayden.
"For Casey and I to be in the top four shows that the bike is working really well around here. On the Ducati simulator the best lap I had was a 1'49.1 and the pole time was a 1'48.9 so that's impressive, somebody back in Bologna is doing their homework! They're doing a great job and tomorrow it's my turn to try and bring something home for the team.”