British rider James Toseland believes he can still mount a strong challenge for a top six finish in tomorrow’s Australian MotoGP, despite only qualifying in 12th position on the grid.
The 28-year-old logged a best time of 1.31.722 that left him on the fourth row of the grid, but frustratingly just 0.7s from a front row in another fiercely contested qualifying session.
Just one second split Dani Pedrosa in third place and factory Suzuki rider Loris Capirossi in 13th and Toseland said: “Once again today we saw just how close the competition is in MotoGP and how small the difference is between having a really strong grid position or being down the order.
"Another two or three tenths and I would have been in the top six and feeling much better after all the hard we put in today. But today wasn’t easy because I was looking for more rear grip today.
"But changing the set-up to give me more rear grip, we sacrificed too much of the front-end feeling.
"And when you don’t have front feeling on the fastest track on the calendar with some really flat-out sections, you can’t ride with the confidence you need.
"We made some changes to bring back my confidence with the front, but that just creates wheelspin and a lack of rear grip again in some parts of the track. We just need to find a compromise but I’m not a million miles away.
"I’m confident with a good start that battling for a top six is certainly within reach. I’ve still got plenty to fight for in these last three races, so as usual I’ll be giving it my maximum.”