Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa both qualified on the second row for Sunday's two World Superbike races at Kyalami, but the Irishman, in particular, felt sure that he could - and should - have joined Ben Spies and co at the front of the field.
Yamaha rider Spies claimed a record-equalling sixth straight pole after denying Ducati's Michel Fabrizio by 0.001secs, while Max Biaggi and Nori Haga joined them on row one, the Italian's late effort enough to displace Rea, who found himself without the time to respond. Despite the disappointment of seeing his long-held top four spot snatched from his grasp, the HANNspree Ten Kate Honda rider knows that he has shown good pace all weekend, and remains confident of a strong showing in Sunday's twin 24-lap encounters.
"I was hoping for a front row start based on the pace we were able to show on the race tyres," Rea confirmed, "I put in a good time in the Superpole 1 on a race tyre, but I only went two tenths quicker on the qualifier. Of course, I was on my spare bike and the extra grip just seemed to upset it a little in Superpole 2 and 3.
"However, P5 is on the good side of the track for the start, so I'm not too disappointed. We have some race pace and I'm more confident with that than I've been all year. We've got a couple of options for the race tyre, as well, so we'll have a talk about that later and we'll be ready for tomorrow."
Veteran team-mate Checa, meanwhile, had sat as high as third fastest - behind Spies and Fabrizio - at the end of Superpole 2, but fell away during the third and final phase to wind up seventh fastest, and seven tenths off the pace. However, the Spaniard insists that he is happy with the way the Ten Kate team has gone about its preparations and is looking forward to the two races.
"I feel we've worked really well this weekend – probably for the first time this year," he confirmed, "We knew that chatter would be a problem from the test last December but, instead of spending each session trying to eliminate it, we've just worked around it the best way we can.
"Today, in free practice, everything came together and we were able to show some good pace that we should have for the races tomorrow - as long as the tyres are okay. The last Superpole session was not as good as the first two, and the front row would always be better – especially here. I hope everyone thinks about the fast S just after the start so we can all get round it safely."