Alvaro Bautista will start Suzuki's home Japanese Grand Prix from the middle of the third row, having equalled his best MotoGP grid position of eighth.
The Spaniard now hopes to fight with the group ahead and help convince Suzuki to stay in MotoGP next year.
“With the time I did in qualifying - one-and-a-half-seconds quicker than last year – I would have been in pole position in 2010!" said Bautista, who often struggles in qualifying relative to his race pace. "This year the level is amazing and the lap-times are very fast, but our performance is also due to the hard work the guys in the Factory have put in, it has made a big difference.
"Eighth is not too bad and I want to produce a good race for all the Suzuki company and factory guys that are here this weekend supporting us. I will try to get a good start and fight from the beginning, I think the first three or four will be difficult to catch, but after that I think we can be in the battle for the next few positions. We will see what the weather brings and the condition of the track, but I am looking forward to a good race.”
“We needed a strong qualifying performance today and Álvaro delivered that," added team manager Paul Denning. "We just didn't get the timing right on the last run, in terms of track position and traffic, but only half-of-a-second off fourth place on Honda's home track is a decent result.
"The first couple of laps will be critical tomorrow and I believe if Álvaro is in the tow with the fastest riders there is a possibility of a very strong result.”