Title-chasing Factory Yamaha star Jorge Lorenzo
had to give second best to MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez in qualifying, but the defending champion is feeling confident for tomorrow's race at Aragon.
Lorenzo, bidding to win his third race in a row following success at Silverstone and Misano, lost pole to countryman Marquez by only 0.010s following a superb lap of 1m 47.814s.
The Spaniard believed he may have done enough to cement the top spot, but nonetheless Lorenzo is satisfied he can run a strong pace for the duration of tomorrow's race.
"I knew I made a really good lap and I hoped to be in first position but I knew the other riders would be very close or in front of me," said Lorenzo, who trails Marquez by 34 points in the championship standings. "Finally for ten tenths of a second I lost it. I tried my best but I made a mistake in the first corner and lost one or two tenths so lost pole position.
"One thing is to make one fast lap, another is to make fast laps for the whole race. In the last practice before qualifying we found something extra for pace so we are stronger in one lap and also for the pace for the race,” he added.
Lorenzo and Yamaha have never won at Aragon, which joined the MotoGP calendar in 2010. Team-mate Valentino Rossi
was fourth fastest, but only 0.158s from Marquez.
"As in Misano we are both fast," said Lorenzo. "We are getting evolutions on the bike and getting faster. The gap is getting closer [to Honda]. Maybe tomorrow we can see a beautiful race between us all."
Asked to confirm if he has opened his fifth and final engine of the season this weekend, Lorenzo was evasive: "I don't know. I never ask about this. You have to ask Ramon [Forcada, crew chief]. I concentrate to be fast on the track."
Lorenzo and Rossi each opened their fourth engine at round six, due to an unspecified technical issue - forcing them to spread additional mileage across the other engines every since.
Meanwhile, Lorenzo and Rossi used the softer front tyre for qualifying, while Marquez and Honda team-mate Pedrosa ran the hard.
"The soft rear matched with the hard front was used by the majority of riders today and if we have a dry race, I expect this to be the preferred tyre choice," said Bridgestone's cheif engineer Masao Azuma. "That said, the performance of the soft front slick in today's cooler conditions was very good with three of the top ten riders in qualifying using this option, so both front slicks are performing well here.
"I anticipate an interesting race tomorrow as the pace among the first two rows of the grid is very close."