Ben Spies may be surplus to requirements at Yamaha, but the Texan appears to have lost none of his appetite for success as he nailed down a second row start in Brno.
Spies, who will be replaced in the factory Yamaha outfit at the end of the season by Valentino Rossi, was fourth quickest at the Czech venue ahead of tomorrow's 12th round of the MotoGP World Championship.
The American appeared to be on course for a front row start with team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow, but a brilliant late effort by Dani Pedrosa prevented an all-Yamaha front row.
However, Spies' time was just 0.004s behind the Repsol Honda ace and he will expect to be in the mix for a rostrum place tomorrow.
“Overall that was a pretty good qualifying session, I made a couple of small mistakes on a couple of hot laps which I think could have put us on the front row,” said Spies, who has been strongly linked to Gresini Honda for 2013.
“The bike and team are working really well and we've got a good pace for the race so I'm hoping for a trouble free day tomorrow to see what we can do.”
Spies' team-mate Lorenzo smashed the Brno lap record with a stunning time of 1m 55.799s, which marks him out as the pre-race favourite.