Jorge Lorenzo dubbed MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez's pole lap at Misano as 'unbelievable' after the Factory Yamaha rider again found himself outshone by the rookie title challenger.
Lorenzo, who halted Marquez's winning streak at the previous round at Silverstone, was over half-a-second behind the Repsol Honda star as he sealed second position on the YZR-M1.
The defending world champion had set the pace in Q2 with a lap in 1m 33.797s and although he improved further with a time of 1m 33.428s, Marquez smashed the pole record at the San Marino MotoGP with the first ever sub-1m 33s lap to take the number one spot by 0.513s.
Lorenzo, who is using Yamaha's seamless shift gearbox for the first time, said he found the going tougher than he had anticipated.
“I can be happy with second, but we are quite far from pole. Marc did an unbelievable lap and we couldn't even be close to him. I expected to struggle less this weekend and go faster than last year but I couldn't be faster and I couldn't improve the bike so much,” he said.
“We are struggling to stop the bike in braking and we have more spinning than normal in acceleration – that is why the lap time is not great," added Lorenzo, who is joined on the front row by team-mate Valentino Rossi.
“We will keep trying to change the bike and tomorrow we have the last change in the warm-up. But anyway even with the feeling now we are second with quite good pace and the seamless is good news for us.
“It was a pity not to have it at Indianapolis, Brno and Silverstone, because I think at the moment - maybe we will improve tomorrow - we were more competitive than here. But now is the time to have it and we will try to improve it from this race.
“I will try to make a good start tomorrow and maybe the best strategy is to follow Marc and see how our performance is during the race.”