Valentino Rossi earned his best qualifying result of the MotoGP season so far as the Italian ace secured a second row start at Brno on the factory Ducati.
Rossi, Ducati's sole factory representative in the Czech Republic this weekend in the absence of the injury Nicky Hayden, was sixth fastest overall.
The nine-times world champion is looking forward to tomorrow's race, admitting that he has been “faster and more competitive than normal” at Brno.
“Since Friday morning, things have gone better here at Brno. We've managed to be faster and more competitive than normal and, most importantly, to work on the bike well, improving session by session,” said Rossi.
“This afternoon we managed to do a good 'time attack,' so we're generally pretty pleased. It's important that we'll be able to start from the second row in the race because it makes things a little easier.
“The times in our group are very close, but we'll have to see what conditions we'll have tomorrow and what our race pace will be,” he added.
“Anyway, I like the track a lot, and if we can manage to perfect a couple more details with the setup, we can try and have some fun.”
Rossi ended qualifying within a second of future team-mate Jorge Lorenzo's pole position time on the factory Yamaha YZR-M1, posting a best lap in 1m 56.735s compared to Lorenzo's time of 1m 55.799s.