Valentino Rossi will start from the last row of the reduced, 15-rider, MotoGP grid in Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

The seven time MotoGP champion qualified just 13th fastest and 3.7sec from pole, as he continued to struggle with his Desmosedici on his first race visit to Silverstone.

On a day when Honda's Casey Stoner broke last year's pole by 1.3sec, Rossi's qualifying time of 2min 5.781sec was well below the 2min 4.332sec Nicky Hayden had recorded for Ducati last season.

"It's been a very difficult day - actually, a very difficult weekend," said Rossi, who missed last year's British MotoGP due to a broken leg. "We were a long way off Friday, but in a way it was understandable since I didn't know the track.

"Today, though, I had hoped to do much better, but we only lowered our time by one second, while the others cut two.

"The gap is considerable, and we're even having trouble compared to the other Ducatis, so evidently we haven't managed to work well at this track.

"I'm having difficulty riding, I'm slow on corner entry, and I'm not able to take the lines I want. We found many things with the bike's settings, but without making progress."

Rain showers are predicted for race day, but Rossi doubts that wet weather would improve his situation significantly.

"They're saying it's supposed to rain tomorrow, so we'll see," he said. "I don't think we can be as competitive in the wet as we have been on other tracks, but it would probably be a bit better than dry. Anyway, we have to do the best with what we have."

Rossi's best qualifying of the season was seventh at last Sunday's Catalunya Grand Prix.

Team-mate Hayden will start seventh, one place behind rookie and surprise fastest Desmosedici rider Karel Abraham.

"Although we had problems, this is my best qualifying position of the year, but to be two seconds off is too much," said Hayden, who lapped just 0.028sec faster than last year.

"We tried some options to get it better, but from my first outing of the weekend, we haven't really gone much faster. We tried stuff to make it better--maybe we tried to do too much--and we haven't improved.

"Certainly the front isn't good over the bumps, and the rear is spinning a lot and moving around. It was pretty frustrating, really, but I hope for rain tomorrow. Doing 20 laps in the wet around here wouldn't be easy, but I think it would help our chances."

Hayden lost out on a podium finish when he was passed on the final lap of last year's Silverstone race.


Loading Comments...