Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo missed out on a front row start for the Valencia MotoGP but remains confident of his potential to finish the season with a victory.
Lorenzo set an early benchmark of 1m 31.726s but was pushed back to eighth place as the pace quickened in final qualifying, before jumping up to second place with a time of 1m 31.049s.
However, Lorenzo was bumped back to fourth place, having notably towed team-mate Valentino Rossi to pole on his final flying lap.
“Fourth place is good, keeping in mind that all the riders' times are very close. I tried to do some good lap times. I did one fast lap but I made a mistake in the second, I went wide and I lost one or two tenths of a second,” said Lorenzo.
“The other problem was that Valentino was waiting and he took profit from being behind me to improve his lap time. It is something some riders are doing. He did it today and other times this season.
"But it is something you can do. I would prefer that nobody did this, but some riders are doing it. Surprisingly Valentino is doing it. You don't expect Valentino to do this kind of thing. But everyone can do it and sometimes when it happens you can lose some positions."
Rossi later responded to Lorenzo's criticism
The team-mates are not just battling for race honours, but also to finish second in the world championship, with Rossi currently ahead by twelve points heading into Sunday's 18th round.
“We have a chance of victory but the Hondas are really competitive here. They can take slow corners really late and exit corners very easily with a lot of acceleration, but we are not so bad. We have a great pace,” he added.
“The race is going to be long, so it won't be easy but we have a lot of potential to win the race.”