Exciting rookie Marc Marquez will make his MotoGP race debut in Qatar from the second row of the grid after qualifying in sixth position.
The Repsol Honda young-gun set his best time on his final lap after heavy traffic spoiled both Marquez's and team-mate Dani Pedrosa's third flying laps at Losail.
Like most, the pair opted to complete two flying laps before pitting for a new soft rear tyre, then heading out for a final run - when they later made light contact as Marquez tried to move ahead.
Nonetheless, reigning Moto world champion Marquez said sixth was about where he expected to be as he prepares for Sunday's night race.
“Today was my first MotoGP qualifying session and the first time that we'd had the short 15 minute run, but the result was what we had expected,” said Marquez, whose quickest lap of 1m 55.645s left him 0.931s behind Jorge Lorenzo's benchmark.
“I still need a bit of explosivity [sic] and to push hard from the start. We got the sixth fastest time, as on the opening two fast laps I made mistakes and we lost some thousandths of a second,” he added.
“That is something that we have to improve. We still have the warm up tomorrow, in which we need to continue working on our pace and from there, we need to choose the best tyre for the race.
“The important thing will be to make a good start and see what happens.”