Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi isn't too concerned by his row three start for the Qatar MotoGP, with the nine-time world champion confident of improving during the 22-lap race.

Rossi was eighth fastest on the YZR-M1, 0.738s behind Ducati pole sitter Andrea Dovizioso, but revealed a number of factors prevented him from posting a faster lap, with the Yamaha losing out on top speed on the straight and experiencing rear grip issues.

"For me, first of all in this track we are quite slow in the straight and we lose more than seven or eight kilometres [per hour] and 10 to the Ducati and that starts to be a big step," Rossi said.

Related Articles

"We are struggling with a little bit for rear grip and we tried to fix it; in some areas we improved and in some areas we still have some problems. But we have to wait until tomorrow because from today until tomorrow every team will improve the setting and we will try to do the same.

"Also we have to wait for the race to understand the level because last year we had two Yamahas and two Hondas and now it looks like we have six bikes because the Ducatis are stronger. So now we have to understand in the race what happens," he added.

"The Yamaha was always a little bit slow in Qatar; I don't know why, but maybe from the exit of the last corner. Our bike for sure is not faster than last year so maybe the other guys have improved."