After qualifying on the front row at all 14 previous MotoGP rounds this season, title contender Jorge Lorenzo saw his perfect run come to an end at Phillip Island - by just 0.001sec.

Although his physical condition improved on day two of the Australian Grand Prix, the 22-year-old is still struggling for rear grip from his Fiat Yamaha.

The four-time 2009 race winner, who closed to within 18 points of team-mate Valentino Rossi with victory last time out at Estoril, put in a big effort to try and secure a front row start - but was bumped onto row two by just one thousandth of a second by fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa (Honda).

"I'm a bit disappointed to lose my 100% front-row qualifying record by such a tiny amount, but today we just didn't quite have enough pace," said Lorenzo, who has been more than a half a second slower than Rossi in every track session so far this weekend.

"We still don't have enough grip on the rear and the tyre is spinning too much, which makes it difficult to be fast enough.

"Tomorrow I will try to adapt my riding style instead in order to try to make it onto the podium.

"I feel better than yesterday but I'm still not at 100%; I feel quite weak still because I haven't been able to eat much.

"I will have to try before tomorrow in order to have enough strength for the race. I don't feel any pressure, I will just go out and do my best," he declared.

"It's a real pity to miss out on the front row by just one millisecond after we have been so consistent all season!" admitted Lorenzo's team manager Daniele Romagnoli. "We still have rear grip issues at the moment, the team have done a good job to improve it over the sessions but we still have some work to do.

"The warm-up will be very important for us tomorrow in order to try to solve the problem and put us in a position to be able to challenge in the fight for the race and the championship tomorrow."

Whatever happens in Sunday's race, Lorenzo will remain in mathematical title contention until at least next weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the championship.


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