Jorge Martin will start the season-opening Qatar MotoGP from pole position but the Spaniard is not confident he will be celebrating a victory on Sunday.

The Pramac Racing rider began the last race of 2021 at the front of the grid in Valencia, where he ended his rookie season with a second-placed finish.

On Saturday, Martin beat Enea Bastianini to pole by 0.147 seconds with a lap of 1:53.011, while six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez joins them on the front row as defending champion Fabio Quartararo was only 11th-fastest.

Yet 24-year-old Martin will go into the race at the Lusail International Circuit under the lights without any great expectations of taking the top step on the podium.

He said: "I'm super happy about my performance. I wasn't expecting to be that fast.

"I'm not 100 per cent confident for tomorrow. We are still missing one to two tenths to fight for victory, but we will be one of the candidates. We have to work hard this evening and find this small thing to battle.

"We are aiming for the win, but I am always a little bit on the limit. We have struggled with a new engine. It's not that easy.

"We are still missing how to manage the tyre and I am worried about the end of the race, but with my engineers and staff we will find something that will help me and we will be fighting for the victory."

Gresini Racing's Bastianini will start on the front row for the first time in the premier class and has his sights on a podium finish.

The Italian said: "For the first time I will start on the front row. I'm very happy about today, we did a very good job because it was difficult to go on the second qualifying.

"I did one error in the last sector, but I did a very good lap and I think tomorrow we can battle for the podium."

Marquez said: "It's important to start on the front row on a track that I'm not riding comfortably on. My style is not coming naturally on this race track but today I felt better, especially in FP4.

"We made an important change on the bike and since that point I started to feel better and in qualifying also the performance was there. I'm happy but tomorrow is the most important day. We are not the fastest but we will try to manage in a good way."

Provisional classification

1. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) 1:53.011
2. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) +0.147s
3. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +0.272s
4. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.287s
5. Alex Espargaro (Aprilia) +0.308s
6. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +0.335s
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +0.339s
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.396s
9. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +0.4s
10. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.47s
11. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.624s
12. Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.971s