Dani Pedrosa refused to be downbeat after qualifying fifth for Sunday's MotoGP race at Aragon as he instead pointed to his promising pace shown throughout the day.
A succession of front-end moments prevented Pedrosa from stringing a lap together that was closer than the seven tenths of a second that separated his fastest time and that of the pole sitter, Marc Marquez.
The Spaniard was unsure whether a change in track conditions, a small alteration in set-up or a front tyre with inadequate grip were to blame for the lack of feeling in the 15-minute Q2 shootout but was nonetheless content with his speed and consistency in FP4, a session which he topped.
“I don't mind really the position today,” said the 29-year old. “The feeling was the worst in qualifying. There were so many warnings on the front. I had warnings all the time, I couldn't really feel the front. Every time I was trying to make a good entry to the turn I lost the front. Even later when I changed to the second rear tyre I had the same issue and I wasn't able to put the lap together. It was a new tyre. It was the same front tyre but just new.
“That problem was in every sector. In FP4 I didn't have a grip issue. There was no problem. It surprised me by that. I don't know why Marc crashed. I don't know whether the track changed in those five minutes or whether it was my tyre or the setting, which we didn't change much. We will try to keep the things from FP4, which was a little better than qualifying."
From the eleven laps Pedrosa completed in FP4, ten were in the 1m 48s, and although in general slightly slower than both Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo, the three-time world champion feels he can challenge should he start well.
“I'm a little bit ashamed with this issue because in FP4 I was quite constant and fast. I want' having this kind of problem. I just need to focus on tomorrow now, to try and get a good start and do the first lap strong. We have to follow Jorge and Marc. They both start well and ride the first laps well. Also they have the same good pace. It's very important not to lose the gap in that moment because it's very difficult to catch back later.”
One of the Spaniard's great strengths in the past was his starting ability but he has struggled to match that since 2014. Pedrosa went on to say he is more dependent on the quick-starting Lorenzo making an early mistake to stay in the Yamaha man's wheel-tracks.
“It's difficult. It's more him making a mistake than us getting a good start. At the moment it's very stable. Sometimes we have a good start, sometimes we have a bad one. In the past always our starts were one of our strong points. Obviously we focus more on our weak points. Now we have some issues with that. I just hope tomorrow my start is good.”