Valentino Rossi began race day at his home Misano round hoping to fight for the podium after a competitive pace in Saturday's final practice.

Instead Rossi lapped one-second slower than yesterday, suffered his worst race finish since the Marquez incident in Argentina (seventh) and lost second in the world championship to Ducati's race winner Andrea Dovizioso.

"It was a very difficult race," began Rossi, who had missed last year's home grand prix due to injury and was using a special 'Back To Misano' helmet design.

"It was a big shame to not be competitive in Misano, in front of all the crowd. And sincerely I expected to be stronger because yesterday in FP4 I was not too bad.

"But for some reason, that we don't understand, today everything is more difficult. Already from morning warm-up we were struggling very much. Me and Maverick, also Zarco.

"Unfortunately this afternoon, even if the conditions were very similar to yesterday afternoon, the feeling with the bike and the tyres was worse. More difficult everywhere. It's like I have less grip.

"So I tried to do the maximum. I kept some points. But unfortunately I was not fast enough.

"Already from half of the first lap, I understood that it was not the same as yesterday, when I did '32.9, '33.0, '33.1... '33.2 after 16 laps. Today I was close to one-second slower."

So what went wrong?

MotoGP riders have long complained of losing grip on Sunday afternoon due to the way their Michelin tyres interact with Dunlop rubber laid by the preceding Moto3 and Moto2 classes.

But as Rossi pointed out, if that's the case, why did only Yamaha suffer?

"We speak about the rubber from Moto2 for a long time. First of all, we don’t know if it's true. And we don’t know why in some race tracks it gives us more problems than others. But especially, the problem is just for us.

"Because in reality Honda and Ducati have exactly the same lap time as yesterday.

"So it's strange that the rubber of Moto2 is bad just for Yamaha! But can be. Sincerely, we don't know if it's true. And if it's true, we don’t know why."

Singapore #5 Circuit of Champions

'Ducati and Honda develop their bikes in a better way'

It's no secret that Rossi is pressuring Yamaha to up its game, especially in the area of electronics, where he feels the M1 is losing out in terms of acceleration relative to Honda and Ducati.

But Rossi also highlighted how his results have got worse in the second half of the season every year since 2015, believing that Yamaha falls behind as the season goes on.

"In the last three seasons, we start with quite a good level. But after, during the season and especially in the second part, it looks like technically we suffer more.

"In fact, if you take my results, I make a lot more podiums in the first half than the second half, in the last three years.

"So it looks like Ducati and Honda are able to develop their bikes in a better way, compared to us. So this is a problem. They [Yamaha] need to understand why."

That pattern of deteriorating results is not a good sign as Rossi seeks to defend his championship position.

But rather than being disappointed at losing second to Dovizioso, The Doctor said it's miraculous he is as high as third and still has plenty to fight for in the remaining six rounds.

"We have to stay concentrated and give the maximum because in the championship I'm miraculously third! Sincerely, I don't understand how," he smiled.

"It can be very difficult to stay in third but we have a target to try to stay and we are not far from Dovi. We have more points than Lorenzo and Maverick. So from the championship point of view we have some important results to catch."

Team-mate Maverick Vinales finished fifth in Sunday's race meaning Yamaha's losing streak has now reached 22 races, equalling their drought from 1997-1998.

Marquez now leads the championship by 67 points from Dovizioso. Rossi is just three points from Dovizioso, but 21 clear of Lorenzo.