Valentino Rossi admits he will need to find something extra to be in a position to challenge Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez for victory at Valencia in the final MotoGP race of 2016.
Rossi, who has wrapped up second place in the championship behind Marquez, qualified in third place on the front row on the Movistar Yamaha.
The Italian's Q2 lap of 1m 30.128s left him seven tenths adrift of team-mate Lorenzo's pole time but Rossi was relieved to seal his place on the front row.
“To stay on the front row is always a good feeling, it is always important. I struggle always a bit too much in this track and yesterday was a difficult day and this morning we improved the balance of the bike, but I wasn't strong enough anyway,” Rossi said.
“In the afternoon we did another small improvement and I was quite strong with both tyres. I wanted to try and make 1'29 but I wasn't able, but front row is good, also because in Valencia it is difficult to overtake, so to start from there is important.
“We have to work harder to improve some areas and some details because at this moment Lorenzo and Marquez are faster in the pace and also [Maverick] Vinales is very strong – he is stronger than me. If I want to fight for the podium we need to improve a bit and try to be stronger tomorrow, so for this reason it is important to start from the front row. I hope to make a good start and try to fight.”
Rossi hopes to improve his pace on Sunday and is also focused on making the best start possible from the all-important front row.
“First of all, we want dry weather and the good temperature of today. For me personally, I want to try to improve the pace, make a good start and try to fight for the podium with Lorenzo, Marquez and also I think Vinales is strong.”