Jorge Lorenzo lost out on pole position at Le Mans by just 0.030s to rookie title rival Marc Marquez, but the world champion heads into the race much more confident than at Jerez two weeks ago.
“During all weekend we've been working really hard to improve the feeling with the front tyre and maintain grip in the rear, after some difficulties at Jerez,” said Lorenzo, who famously clashed with Marquez at the final turn of the Spanish Grand Prix.
“In Jerez I did two laps and then in the third or fourth lap it was impossible to keep the same pace. Here in this track with the improvement we made with the bike it's much easier to keep a constant pace so I'm much more satisfied.
“I concentrated also to do a very fast lap, but unfortunately I couldn't beat Marc today because he was really fast. But our main target was to improve the bike for the race and I think we got it.”
Rain arrived shortly after qualifying and remains a real threat for the race. Lorenzo won last year's wet race by almost ten seconds but would prefer a dry grand prix.
“I don't know what will happen if it rains tomorrow because we haven't tried it in the wet. Last year it was ok, but every year it's different so I don't know what to expect. I would prefer a dry race.
“If it rains though it can be a possibility to recover some points if we don't make a mistake.”
Lorenzo starts round four behind Marquez and Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa
in the championship standings. The RCV riders fell in separate incidents at the same corner on Saturday.
“Marc just beat [Jorge] with a 33.1 but tomorrow is the race and he's on the front row with no crashes so let's see what will happen,” said Yamaha team manager Wilco Zeelenberg.