Valentino Rossi will start the second race of his Yamaha return from just eighth on the grid after dropping further down the order in qualifying for the inaugural Texas MotoGP event.

While the Yamahas always expected a tough time against the Hondas, which had dominated a private test in March, Qatar runner-up Rossi has been no closer than 1.765s to the front - and slipped further away in qualifying.

In a session that saw team-mate and reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo claim third on the grid, one-second behind Marc Marquez - and satellite Tech 3 Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow clinch fourth - Rossi was left in eighth and 2.4s adrift.

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Rossi explained that he is losing time on the brakes and is now seeking to salvage as many points as possible.

"We expected to go better today but we were unable to fix the problem in braking, especially in the first part, and I lose too much time," said the Italian. "But we still have tomorrow, we knew that this weekend on this track it could be difficult and in fact it is. We have to make a good race and try to take as many points as we can."

"As a result of qualifying Vale will need a very aggressive start to the race," said team director Massimo Meregalli. "If we can make another step with the set up then he can definitely catch the riders in front of him."