Unhappy Casey Stoner says his Repsol Honda team has a 'lot of work' to complete to iron out a 'huge' chatter problem on his RC213V ahead of Sunday's opening round of the MotoGP World Championship in Qatar.
Stoner qualified in second position behind Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, but is doubtful he will be able to challenge for victory unless the issue is significantly improved.
“I'm not really happy with how qualifying went for us, it should have been a lot better especially on the soft tyre which we hadn't used all weekend,” said Stoner.
“Last night [Friday] we were happy with what we had improved and with the set-up in general. Then tonight we tried to improve that set up and we just made it worse and worse.
“In the end we did a full circle and came back to what we had on Thursday night and we have huge chattering problems again,” he added.
“Now we have a lot of work to do to understand what's gone wrong and where the problem is before tomorrow.
“If we can make a big step forward in warm-up then we can challenge for a podium and maybe fight for the win, but if the bike remains as it is at the moment, then we were going to be in for a long hard race.”
The reigning world champion led for the majority of the session before he was overhauled by Lorenzo, who seized pole position by 0.2s.
Stoner's team-mate, Dani Pedrosa, will start from the third row in seventh place after he too experienced problems during the one-hour session.
“We solved a little the issues we had yesterday with the electronics, but we had other problems today. I stopped in the garage to change the bike and it didn't start, twice,” Pedrosa said.
“I lost a lot of time there and I had to take the other bike which I didn't feel comfortable with either. It's a shame. The team couldn't do any better and nor me; from this point I lost the concentration a little and we couldn't get a better position.
“Seventh on the grid is not a good place to start the race, but I hope that we don't have any issues tomorrow and I can have a good race.”