Aleix Espargaro put Suzuki fourth on the grid for Sunday's Valencia MotoGP finale - without using the soft rear tyre.

The Spaniard was especially pleased given that the special rubber allocation for non-Factory Honda and Yamaha riders will disappear during the switch from Bridgestone to Michelin next season.

"I'm really happy. I think a '30.9 is a fast time on the [medium] rear tyre with the Suzuki here," said Espargaro, who was 0.4s from Dani Pedrosa and a front row place. "I did a very good lap. I was really focussed and as I was coming from the Qualifying 1 I did a lot of hot laps and was really ready.

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"There are no more soft tyres for us next season and I think it's good. I always say, even when I did pole position or the two second places on the grid, I don't really care about the soft tyre but this is our allocation. But it is nice to finish the season strong with our hard tyre and next season will be the same for all the riders."

Team manager Davide Brivio added: "Aleix was very good in getting the fourth place, especially with the hard tyre. I want to see this as superb training for the next season, when we will have the same tyres that other teams will have. It is good to see that our potential is high even when we have the same weapons as the others."

Espargaro starts the final round eleventh in the world championship, six points behind brother Pol, ten points behind Danilo Petrucci and five points ahead of team-mate Maverick Vinales.

"Tomorrow is not going to be easy but I will try to give 100% to finish the season in the best way, try to finish in the top six. Also Petrucci's close in the championship, Pol as well, so we will try to take a lot of points and be in front of them."