The long back straight at Aragon proved particularly punishing for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards, who were slowest in terms of top speed during Saturday's qualifying session.
Although just a few KPH slower than factory Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies, Crutchlow and Edwards were respectively 10.5 and 10.2km/h slower than Hector Barbera's Ducati (321 km/h).
Rookie Crutchlow qualified in 12th place and, despite the disadvantage, was only 0.2sec from seventh on the grid Nicky Hayden (Ducati).
“I don't think 12th place on the grid really reflects just how well myself and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team have been performing this weekend," Crutchlow said. "I've come to a new track and pretty much lost a session with all of yesterday's power problems and yet another couple of tenths would have put me in the top six on the grid.
"It is going to be difficult because we've got a bit of a speed issue on the straight," he confessed. "I'm really strong in three sections of the track but in the last sector I'm a long way down the split times and that makes it quite difficult. It is not going to be easy to pass people but I'll get my head down and push as hard as I can to do the best job possible."
Edwards will start just 15th on the grid, having been 0.2sec slower than Crutchlow.
“That was a hard session to say the least and starting my 150th MotoGP race from 15th on the grid certainly wasn't in the plan," said the Texan. "We've gone from qualifying seventh in Misano to 15th, so it is clear we've had a few issues this weekend. One is the bike isn't the fastest out there and I've not got a lot of rear grip.
"The moment I touch the throttle the rear tyre spins, and that combined with the engine means we simply aren't fast enough. I guess we've got to back to the drawing board tonight and see if we can come up with something, but it is going to be a tough race."