Bradley Smith took a big leap forward as the Yamaha Tech 3 rider improved to eighth position in qualifying for the Aragon MotoGP.
The rookie ended Friday's free practice session in 13th position but was confident his place on the time sheets did not reflect his potential.
And Smith proved his theory today, shooting up the leaderboard to finish one place behind team-mate Cal Crutchlow after final qualifying.
Damp track conditions in FP3 after overnight rain prevented Smith from progressing automatically to Q2, but he dominated Q1 with a time of 1m 49.724s before slashing almost a second off his best time in Q2 on the M1 to secure eighth for tomorrow's race in Spain.
“The last two races have been pretty dismal, so it is great for me to be able to turn it around this weekend,” said Smith. “I said yesterday that I didn't feel 13th was a true reflection of my potential and thankfully I was able to show that was the case today.”
After a long meeting with his team, Smith changed his riding style on Saturday and the move paid dividends, providing a much improved feeling with the satellite Yamaha.
Smith's naturally aggressive style is a polar opposite to the smoothness with which Jorge Lorenzo rides the Yamaha and Smith was told he needed to adapt to the bike if he was to get improved performance.
Easing his transition under braking was one of the key areas and Smith spoke about how he is now approaching each corner with a different mentality.
"Last night we talked about my braking style and trying to keep the bike as smooth as possible," said Smith. "I've got a terrible habit of popping up from behind the screen and the way that you go down the gears is very important. The way you squeeze the brake lever is obviously very important and the Yamaha always like to be inline. If the bike is moving you're doing it wrong and we know that the bike will go straight from the data of the other riders so it means that you're doing it wrong.