Factory Yamaha star Jorge Lorenzo says he was 'surprised' by title rival Casey Stoner's last-gasp pole-snatching lap at Assen, but the Spaniard is more than satisfied with his front row position.

Lorenzo, who leads the title charge and is bidding to win four MotoGP races on the bounce for the first time in his career, sealed the third fastest time on his YZR-M1 today.

Qualifying was hit by mixed weather and rain halted the final session before Repsol Honda's Stoner returned to the track to snatch pole.

However, Lorenzo is looking very strong in terms of race pace and looks the man to beat in Saturday's grand prix.

"I tried my best in the last lap of qualifying but I made a little mistake in the last chicane on braking and lost a few tenths," he said.

"I was surprised at Casey's last lap; it was fantastic and so fast and Dani [Pedrosa] was also very close to him.

"We have a good position for tomorrow on the front row and we have a good race pace and I'm confident with the bike so I'm happy," he added.

"Qualifying is one thing but the race is another, tyre choice will be important for the race."