MotoGP title leader Valentino Rossi, who has claimed both 2015 race wins from eighth on the grid, will again start from that position at his home Italian round on Sunday.

The Movistar Yamaha rider admitted he should have done better after lapping 0.3s slower than front row team-mate Jorge Lorenzo - also Rossi's closest championship rival - but insists he is in good shape for the race.

"Today I am quite happy with the work done and more positive compared to yesterday, because yesterday I was not strong enough," began Rossi, who lapped 0.4s from countryman Andrea Iannone's Ducati pole time. "We decided to modify the bike and I am quite satisfied because every time we went out we improved. I was stronger and more constant and especially the feeling with the bike got better run-by-run.

Related Articles

"Unfortunately I am still starting on the third row, in eighth place. That is not our target and not a fantastic place to start. But it's my fault because I had a good pace and I could do better because I am three tenths from Jorge.

"But this is the reality now. We can say also that extra soft tyre worked very well, with three Ducatis in front and also the Suzuki are very fast with the soft tyre.

"Apart from the third row, I'm happy about the bike, about the improvement and we have the chance to be competitive tomorrow. We have to continue this way and make another step in warm-up and for the race. Then we see."

The Doctor also congratulated his friend Iannone on a first MotoGP pole.

"Iannone is very strong, this year he rides fast and is competitive. He was very clever because he was behind Jorge, but a big congratulations to him for his first pole position in MotoGP. I am happy for him because I have a good relationship with him, a lot of time we speak together and we pass time together.

"With Iannone we have to understand the potential of his [injured] shoulder in 23 laps, because for sure he has the speed and is very strong. But he is not 100% physically so it will depend on the pain he will have in the shoulder."

Iannone's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso is also starting from the front row, having led much of practice, and Rossi revealed he is hoping the Ducati riders will prevent Lorenzo escaping at the front.

"It is very important that the Ducatis start in front because we know that Jorge is very fast on the first lap. After we have to understand on the straight if with more speed the Ducatis can overtake us.

"But most important will be the pace during the race. It looks like we have good pace, but it will be a long race and the long straight means it is important to exit well from the last corner."

Rossi - who debuted a special 'yellow energy' helmet design on Saturday - starts Sunday's race with a 15-point advantage over Lorenzo, winner of the last two rounds.