American Ben Spies appeared to be on course for a front row start in Qatar until a crash towards the end of qualifying curtailed his hopes.
Spies escaped unhurt after the incident on his factory Yamaha YZR-M1 and will start from row two in fourth position for tomorrow's opening round of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship.
The Texan's fastest lap was 0.878s adrift of team-mate Jorge Lorenzo's pole time and his team will now work on delivering more front end feel for Spies, who is unhappy with the feedback from the front of his M1.
“We were on a good lap until the crash, I just lost the front. I've been complaining the last couple of days that the front end just didn't have the right feeling that I wanted,” said Spies.
“I was trying to get away from the bike when I was sliding, something got caught up and I went with it. I was looking at the front wheel for a while and thought about trying to get back on when I couldn't get away from it!
“We'll try to make the bike better now, I know if we can fix it we can be up front.
“The M1 is clearly going round the track fast and I feel good on it apart from that. We've got some good ideas to try in warm up so we'll see.”
Team director, Massimo Meregalli, is confident Spies can challenge for a top finish tomorrow if the front end feel issue can be improved.
“Despite the crash Ben managed to keep fourth place on the grid, second row is not so bad,” he said. “We'll work a bit more tonight to try to fix one area with the front and in the warm up we hope to get the feeling we are looking for.
“If all that comes together we have all the conditions for a good race.”