The 29-year-old had top spot in his grasp, but he entered the pits rather than completing the wet course on the final lap feeling that he would be unable to improve his lap.
"I made a mistake today and pulled out of the lap when I should have kept going," he is quoted as saying by The Mirror.
"It was a tough qualifying with the changing conditions and we got through most of it really well, until the most important part. It was my decision, a bad call, and that decided my qualifying.
"I'm so sorry to have disappointed the fans here today as their support has been fantastic and I'll do what I can to have a great race for them tomorrow."