Ben Spies shrugged off the discomfort of last weekend's ankle dislocation to qualify sixth on the grid for his final Tech 3 appearance, at Valencia.
The Texan will start just one place behind Ducati's Nicky Hayden, the rider he is presently equal on points with for sixth in the final world championship standings.
Spies finished seventh on his Yamaha MotoGP debut at Valencia one year ago.
"I'm not super happy because I'd like the bike to be working better but to be close to the fight for the podium is pretty good," said Spies, already confirmed as the 2010 Rookie of the Year "This track doesn't have a lot of rear grip and I've had some stability problems. I need the rear to be more stable for the race and I think we can achieve that.
"The ankle isn't fantastic but I don't think it's losing me time. I'm not 100 per cent but I can't say I'm losing half-a-second because of it. I can't move around on the bike as much as I'd like but the race is only 45 minutes and I'll get through it.
"I definitely want to move up in the championship and claim that sixth spot but I'm going out to treat it like another race and try to beat Nicky. There's a bit of pride at stake but I'd want to beat anybody for the top six, so it makes no difference that the fight is with Nicky.”
Just one place and 0.013s further back on the grid is team-mate Colin Edwards. More modifications to the radical set-up he first experimented with yesterday further improved turning performance for the 36-year-old.
“I've felt good all weekend with this new setting and I want to thank my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 because as always they've done an awesome job," he said. "The changes we have made have really helped my confidence with the rear of the bike. I can turn much better, I don't run wide and the new setting seems to give me better rear grip but is also good for tyre life too.
"Seventh is not where I want to be but everybody is going fast. I think anybody from third to ninth will be thinking they can get on the podium and I'm one of them. We've seen though on this track that the field can spread out pretty quick and if it does I hope to be at the sharp end.”