Third place in qualifying was Andrea Iannone's worst result of the Czech Republic MotoGP weekend.
With that in mind, the Austria winner should at least be fighting for back-to-back podiums on Sunday - especially as his factory Ducati feels more comfortable over a race distance.
"I'm very happy about this front row. Today was difficult for us, especially in qualifying. Because in FP3and FP4 we had a good pace and worked very well for the race, but when I use new tyres and try to push at 100% it is very difficult for me to improve my lap time, because I think we ride very close to the limit already," explained the Italian, Ducati's first race winner since 2010.
"So we managed to get something better than expected, because here at Brno we are more effective over race pace than one lap. In any case we have worked really well during the weekend, because we've always been first or second in every session, and I am really satisfied.
"For sure the race will be tougher than in Austria, but I believe that tomorrow we'll be up in the group that will be fighting for the podium. Valentino, Marc and Jorge have a very good pace but we have a very good chance to fight with these guys."
Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso will start from seventh place after a tyre setback at the start of the 15-minute shootout.
“On my out lap the new front tyre was vibrating, and so I immediately had to come back in and replace it," said Dovizioso, less than one-second from Iannone last weekend. "At that point I had to fit the same tyre I had already used in FP4, which didn't have the same level of performance as the new one.
"On my second run I then found myself in a group in which no one wanted to give it a go, and so I went ahead on my own because at that moment I hadn't set a time. Maybe I could have been quicker by two or three tenths and I could have got onto the second row.
"Pity, but the important thing today was to improve and in my opinion we did a good job: let's hope it will be enough to be in a position to fight for the podium tomorrow.”
By Peter McLaren