Alvaro Bautista will start tomorrow's San Marino Grand Prix from the third row of the grid after qualifying in eighth place on Saturday at Misano.

The result equalled the Rizla Suzuki rider's best MotoGP qualifying, at Malaysia last year.

An even higher start was on the cards, before Bautista got caught in traffic at the end of the session.

"At the end I couldn't make a best lap because there was a bit of traffic and some slower riders that I couldn't get past, so I lost the chance to make a good lap-time," said Bautista, who now aims to beat on his best dry race performance of the year, a sixth place last Sunday at Indianapolis.

"I think we have a good set-up for tomorrow and the grid position is even better than last week, so if I get a good start I think I can push right up there," he said. "I want to stay with the front guys for the maximum amount of time as possible and make a race and get a result like Indy - or even better!"

Team manager Paul Denning believes Bautista was capable of a 1min 33sec lap, which would have put him at least sixth on the grid.

"It's strange that Misano has seen our best qualifying result of the year so far, but in-fact we are a bit disappointed by the result," said Denning.

"?lvaro made a steady rhythm at 35.0 with the hard rear tyre and then we compared it to the soft rear tyre from this morning, and he immediately made his qualifying time of 34.3, which at the time was good for fourth.

"Having put on fresh tyres we were all hoping - ?lvaro included - that a 33 something was possible, but a combination of traffic and a couple of errors took the chance away. We still need to improve the qualifying performance, but it is getting better and as always the points are in the Grand Prix tomorrow. We're looking forward to the race!"

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