Valentino Rossi was happy to qualify a close fourth on the grid for Sunday's US MotoGP, as the leading Yamaha rider.

But the Italian legend is still 'worried' by his race pace and is hoping for a late breakthrough ahead of Sunday's 32-lap grand prix.

"I'm quite happy about my position on the grid because I did quite a good lap and I'm happy with the feeling of the bike," said Rossi, whose qualifying time was just 0.045s from the front row and 0.242s from pole.

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"Unfortunately I lost the first row, but I'm fourth and not so far.

"We worked a lot on the bike, especially after some laps when the tyre starts to slide. We also made some improvements to the braking but it's not enough.

"I'm quite worried as we have to find a way tomorrow to be a bit stronger and a bit faster, especially after some laps. We have to work to improve, so we have something to do, but starting in the top four is good as starting in the front is important here."

Honda riders Stefan Bradl, Marc Marquez and Alvaro Bautista will form Sunday's front row.

"The race will be very long and very hard for everyone, but the Hondas use less of the tyre edge compared to the Yamaha. So they can maintain grip for longer. Anyway we will try to do our maximum and our bike is also good here.

"Marc is a bit faster in the rhythm, but also this time Bradl and Bautista are very strong after a lot of laps. Also Cal for sure, but don't forget Jorge and Dani starting behind. For me they can be in front."

Injured Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will join Rossi on row two, just behind Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow.

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