Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez admitted he was 'not entirely happy' after claiming third place on the front row for tomorrow's 11th round of the MotoGP Championship at Brno in the Czech Republic.
Marquez, who has won the previous three races to take a 21-point lead at the top of the points table, set a best lap of 1m 55.863mph, which put him ahead of team-mate and title rival Dani Pedrosa by 0.005s.
The MotoGP rookie may have sealed his eighth front row start of the season, but the young Spaniard was slightly disappointed after failing to make the most of fresh rubber when he encountered traffic as he attempted to boost his time.
Marquez earlier towed fellow Honda rider Alvaro Bautista to an eventual second on the grid, then later backed off to avoid the LCR team Honda of Stefan Bradl.
Nonetheless, Marquez - whose fastest lap was 0.336s slower than pole man Cal Crutchlow on the Tech 3 Yamaha M1 - expects to challenge for a fourth successive victory in the Czech Republic.
“I'm not entirely happy because I felt ready to fight for pole but in the end it was not possible. I could not take advantage of the second tyre because there was a lot of traffic and some riders were waiting for a tow,” said Marquez.
“Here when you follow someone it is much easier. I was in first gear trying to find some space but it was not possible. Then the tyre was too cold so I could not push on the last lap, the risk was too high. But it is what it is - one day I will look to follow them, another day it will be the opposite.
“Anyway the rhythm is good and I feel so good with the bike. Most importantly we are much better than we expected here. This track looks like a Yamaha circuit and also they did the test here, so we are closer than we expected.
“If the race is dry, then I feel ready to challenge for the win.”