Valentino Rossi will start the Styrian MotoGP from just 14th on the grid after paying the price for 'two mistakes' on Saturday.

The first was the costliest, sending the Monster Yamaha rider into Qualifying 1, where he then crashed out, ending his hopes of reaching Qualifying 2.

"Today, unfortunately, I did two mistakes," Rossi said. "The worst mistake was this morning. On the last lap, I was really fast but I braked too deep in T9 and went wide. If not I had a lap time to go straight into Q2. I paid a lot for that mistake.

"Afterwards, in Q1, everybody is very fast, especially Zarco who did a lap time that would have been good enough to start on the front row in Q2.

"Unfortunately, I touched the white line on the inside and I crashed. I think it wasn't clean because of Masia's incident with the oil in the Moto3 class. Anyway, no space for Q2."

Rossi was thus left 15th in qualifying, but will gain one place on the grid due to Zarco's penalty.

The Italian finished fifth (and top Yamaha) in last Sunday's dramatic Red Bull Ring race and still feels he has the pace for a similar performance tomorrow.

"We suffer on the hot lap but my pace is not so bad, I'm quite strong. I think there are four or five riders that are faster, but we are up there with the others," he said.

The Doctor's M1 was the slowest machine through the speed trap during qualifying. "This is not our best track, it's difficult here with the Yamaha," he said. "Our engine is not very fast."

However, the other inline four-cylinder machine, Suzuki's GSX-RR, is only a few km/h slower than the Ducatis.

"For me the Suzuki is faster because they have more grip in acceleration. When they open the throttle they are able to exit the corner in a better way than us," Rossi said. "We spin more. For me this is our big weak point. We try to improve but we always suffer about this and also this track is not fantastic."

Team-mate Maverick Vinales will start from fifth place.

 

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