Valentino Rossi believes it is imperative that he and his Movistar Yamaha squad focus on their own issues rather than the pace and form of resurgent team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

The nine-time world champion has pinpointed his Saturday form in particular as an area in drastic need of improvement. Although both of Rossi's 2015 victories have come from a third-row starting position, time lost in the early laps proved costly in Le Mans and Mugello.

The Italian will be hopeful of ending a qualifying run that boasts just two second row starts from six rounds in Barcelona, a track at which he has enjoyed six premier class wins.

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Speaking at Catalunya on Thursday, Rossi said, "We are very worried," when asked about Lorenzo's ominous run of results, stretching back to Jerez. "In the last races I did some good results because I always arrive on the podium but Jorge was very fast, especially from Jerez," he continued. "He was able to recover a lot of points. What we need is to concentrate on ourselves and to improve the pace, the setting during the practice.

"It looks like we're always fast in the race but this year we suffer too much in the practice. We have to improve this. Mugello was a difficult weekend, even if I like the track. I was never strong enough. At the end I arrive on the podium in the race and it was a good result because I was never in the top three during the practice. In the race I did a bad start and lose some time in the beginning. It was a strange race because the pace was not fantastic, except Jorge.

The current championship leader by six points went on to explain the advantages in place to aid the Ducati and Suzuki entries are partly responsible for his underwhelming qualifying record in 2015.

"For me the practice is not fantastic. It's not very good for my style. The situation is the same for everybody so we have to do the maximum. A lot of time we have the Ducatis in front. This year they are very strong. With the soft tyre in the qualifying they are very difficult to beat. Also the Suzukis are fast. We have to start in the top five or six to make a good race. From the third row it's difficult, we need to improve this aspect."

Looking back on a season in which he is yet to finish off the podium, Rossi has underlined the Spanish round in Jerez and his home round at Mugello as the least satisfying. Lorenzo's approach of starting the race in ideal shape is something he will try to replicate in Montmel?.

"For me I think that I'm not very happy about Jerez and Mugello this season. Because in Austin I finished third but I had a lot of problems with the front tyre so I cannot push. But in reality in Jerez and Mugello were the two weekends where Jorge made more difference compared to me. For example at Le Mans I struggled in the practice but the race was good.

"In the last races Jorge find always a good solution, good setting from the beginning and as able to concentrate more on improving his riding style and arrived for the race at the maximum, 100%. This is the way to do. We hope this time to be more competitive from the beginning, or closer. It is not important that we are first, but it is important to have good pace and a good feeling with the bike.

"Also we can't forget the Hondas and the Ducatis because it is true that our bike is very good this year, but I expect Marquez to come back very soon and also Pedrosa is very fast in Catalunya. The two Ducatis are also very strong."


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He needs one of the Ducatis to get in front of Lorenzo and keep him from running away for a few laps until he can get up to speed.

Rossi will get this sorted out eventually. I just hope it's not to late when he does. It's this newer qualifying format that has been giving him the most trouble. Before the current format, even if he didn't get pole, he would almost always qualify in the top three. Qualifying is the same for everyone now so, it's up to him to do better. I guess it could be more mental than anything but, we all know that once he finally does get qualifying sorted, he'll be on top every weekend. If this season has shown us anything, it's that, Rossi is still an amazing force when it comes down to a dogfight. I just don't believe there's anyone else on the field better at this than Rossi. Most like to just fly away into the distance. I guess that's good for the rider but, I feel it's better to see someone like Rossi snatch victory away from someone with a few laps to go, despite their best efforts to get away from the fight. Hopefully, this type of racing will come back soon.