Jorge Lorenzo refused to be too downcast over his worst MotoGP qualifying performance of the year and instead chose to focus on the positives, namely his pace on used tyres at Assen.

Coming off an inspired four-race winning run, the four-time world champion was brought back down to earth in Holland after qualifying in eighth place as he looks to overturn team-mate Valentino Rossi's one point championship advantage.

In Friday afternoon's Q2 shootout, Lorenzo repeatedly found himself on course for the fastest time through the 2.8 mile circuit's third sector, only two lose 0.1-2s through the final, flowing Ramshoek-Geert Timmer chicane section.

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While Lorenzo corrected his issues with edge grip on Friday morning, he was unable to adequately modify his style through sectors two and four to give him enough of an advantage to fight for pole position.

"Firstly we had to fight a little bit to be competitive with these tyres which we did," said a positive Lorenzo. "The feeling arrive in free practice four. I was very happy with my bike. Then I had to fight also with my speed in sector two and four. I didn't find the best way in braking so I modified my style to be competitive in these two sectors.

"I did it until the qualifying. When I had to push to the maximum I came back to my normal style and I lose too much. I lost two tenths in S2 and two or three in the final. This was the key to being in the first row. In sector one I was the fastest one and in three I was second.

"It's a pity for tomorrow for the start but I think my bike is working well. I just need to understand these two sectors if I can improve a little bit more. But the pace in FP4 was very good with old tyre. [I need] Just to make a good start and little by little with patience try to overtake the riders that are supposed to be a little slower in pace."

His eighth place means Lorenzo will start behind the front two rows for the first time since Aragon, 2014. He was nevertheless buoyed by his pace in FP4, in which he posted a strong eight-lap run in the high 1m 33s/low 34s. This, Lorenzo believes, will be the pace in Saturday's race.

"I think the race pace will be 33.8/33.9. Or 34.0. It will be the pace in the middle of the race I think. Then there will be little complications for everyone to keep high 33s. I think our bike works well with the used tyres so let's see how the results of the bikes are with old tyres. This is going to be the pace."

Lorenzo also maintained he will stay calm early on in the 26-lap encounter and insists he has a 'good challenge' to try and overcome.

"It depends on my start with the clutch. If it's good probably we can overtake some riders from the start. First or second lap we'll try to find the best braking to pass them. For sure it's worse to start on the third row but I have in front of me a good challenge so I'm going to try and take it as best as possible.

"I hope that they [Rossi and Marquez] can fight in every corner and overtake in every corner. I don't know what is going to happen. My only goal is to be quick overtaking the other riders and not make mistakes. It's not easy but I think we are ready to do it."