Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro was disappointed to conclude qualifying in 11th place on row four after showing so much potential throughout practice in Qatar.

Espargaro was unable to challenge for the front two rows on the GSX-RR and later admitted he may have tried too hard in his pursuit of a high grid position for the night race at Losail.

He managed a best time of 1m 55.035s in Q2 as he finished 0.922s behind Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso but Espargaro, who finished fourth fastest in FP3, said his position was not 'real' and is confident he has a shot at finishing as high as seventh in Sunday's night race.

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"Yes [I am disappointed]. I tried to open the throttle with more lean than yesterday to try to be fast and it was a mistake because every time I touched the throttle I had a little bit of rear chattering," said Espargaro.

"The lap was not really fast and with the first lap I almost crashed so not good, not good at all. In FP4 with a more used tyre we were able to do a 1m 55.9 so I'm happy with the performance on a race tyre but not with qualifying.

"Maybe I tried to push more than what is possible and I made some mistakes. Yesterday when we finished fourth it was not real and to finish 11th is not real, so I think we can be a lot more closer to the top guys [in the race]."

Espargaro expects the factory Ducati, Honda and Yamaha riders to be out of reach in the 22-lap race and the Suzuki rider anticipates a tough start, with the GSX-RR's lack of top end speed leaving him vulnerable on the straight.

"I think it will be difficult to follow the Yamaha, Honda and Ducati but I think the seventh place is possible for us; we will fight with [Cal] Crutchlow, with the Tech 3 Yamahas. We have a really good pace and the first 10 laps will be really difficult, but the second part of the race we will be strong," he said.

"Especially in the first five laps tomorrow everybody will overtake me on the straight and I will have to overtake in the corners and again in the next lap. This is racing, this is what we have and I will try to do the best."