Valentino Rossi will need to work hard if he is to extinguish team-mate Jorge Lorenzo's fast growing momentum after the Spaniard followed up his first win of the season with his first pole position of '09, in front of his home fans at Jerez on Saturday.
Lorenzo raised eyebrows by catching and passing his fellow Fiat Yamaha rider for victory last weekend in Motegi, a result that also gave him the championship lead by one point over Rossi.
Rossi is still searching for his first win of the season after also finishing runner-up to Casey Stoner in Qatar, but managed just fourth place in Saturday's qualifying session with a best lap time 0.709sec slower than the #99 - and The Doctor isn't happy with his race set-up either.
“I'm a bit unhappy because we had a few problems and it actually hasn't been such a good day, it was also very windy which made it more difficult,” said the reigning six time MotoGP world champion.
“Yesterday we were very fast from the start and we hoped to keep going like this today but we have lost some feeling and now I can't ride and push how I want to.
"At the moment I am not happy with the setting for the race and we need to work hard to understand the situation and try to improve it because we must be stronger tomorrow.
“Now we will make a long meeting and try to find some solution to try for the warm-up tomorrow,” he revealed.
“Missing out on the first row means that tomorrow's race will be a bit more difficult in the early stages,” conceded team manager Davide Brivio. “Our race pace and rhythm are not so bad but we still need to make some adjustments because our potential is a lot better than this.
“We have to make Valentino more comfortable so that he can ride how he wants to, so now our engineers will study the data and look to come up with something to improve the setting.”
Rossi has not traditionally been a strong starter, but will be aiming to replicate his perfect getaway at Motegi last weekend.