Marco Melandri says he was disappointed to end up in fifth place on the grid for the sixth round of the World Superbike Championship at Sepang after failing to translate his free practice pace.

With Aprilia team-mate Sylvain Guintoli starting on pole position, Melandri was out-qualified by privateer RSV4 rider Toni Elias as he struggled to find a good front-end setting on the bike.

Qualifying on the second row in fifth position, Melandri couldn't hide his disappointment but remains confident that he can factor on race day.

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"This was a difficult qualifier. We tried to keep improving stability and grip at the rear, but in the end I was struggling a lot with the front.

"On a qualifying tyre I wasn't very efficient, but finishing in fifth makes me hopeful for tomorrow. We'll need to improve a bit more and the races will be complicated both in terms of tyres and riders."