Qualifying at Misano saw contrasting performances for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow.
37-year-old Edwards, who yesterday announced a move to the new Forward Racing team for 2012, was a hoppy man after lapping just 0.1sec slower than Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies (fourth) and a mere 0.028sec from a second row start.
“I'm really happy with today and it was a shame all our hard work didn't quite get us on the second row," said Edwards. "We knew what the problems were yesterday and we changed the geometry on the front-end to create some stability through the high-speed sections.
"There's not much between fourth and seventh and to be just over a tenth behind Ben on the factory Yamaha proves what a good job we've done. I'm now looking forward to the race tomorrow.
"I'm going to run the soft rear tyre and I'm pretty sure it will be perfect, but I just can't make the hard rear option work. It feels pretty rigid and I just tense up when I'm on it.
"I've got to be looking at the top six though it is not going to be easy at all when you look at the calibre of those guys in front of me and the bikes they are riding. I just need to make sure I get a good start and try and stay out of trouble in the first couple of corners because there's been a few incidents there.”
Rookie team-mate Crutchlow will start 13th after suffering two falls late in the session.
“The position on the timesheets looks like it was a bad session and it could definitely have ended a lot better without the two crashes," admitted the Englishman. "But this morning I was a second faster than yesterday and felt really comfortable on the bike after we made some overnight changes that improved the front.
"I think I was eighth on the timesheets when I had the first crash, so I know I could have been in the top ten on the grid. The first crash was at Turn 3. I'd just gone out on my first soft rear and there wasn't enough heat in it, so it high-sided me and then turned into a low-side.
"It wasn't a big problem and we put a new soft rear tyre in the spare bike. But the only front I had left was 25-laps old. I was on for a really good lap and the front pushed because it had close to race distance on it and I crashed again.
"That's pretty annoying but they were both my mistakes and I hold my hands up for that. I'm still positive that I could have been much higher up on the grid and I am confident I can be inside the top 10 tomorrow.
"I need to apologise to my crew for giving them a bit of work, but it makes me more determined to give them a decent result tomorrow.”