It wasn't reflected in his eventual grid position, but Valentino Rossi felt he and Petronas Yamaha made minor progress on Saturday at the Spanish MotoGP.

The Italian, who continues to struggle with rear grip from the current 'soft' generation of Michelin tyres and admitted they were running out of ideas after Friday, moved from 21st and +1.5s on day one to 15th and +0.7s on Saturday morning.

"Today we improved a bit from this morning and I was 0.7s from the 'pole position' but P15! So the balance in MotoGP is quite impressive," Rossi said.

"We worked a bit on the bike today with my team, with Davide [Munoz, crew chief], we have a different setting and I feel more comfortable because I'm able to enter the corners faster.

"And  yes we also try to work on the riding style for sure, because these tyres are very soft, especially in the casing, so you have to try to use in a very smooth way."

But the progress came to a halt with some electronic issues in the afternoon, with Rossi dropping back towards the tail of the field with 19th place in FP4, followed by 17th out of the 23 riders in qualifying.

"I had a bit more potential than this, but during the afternoon we had some problems with the electronics and sincerely I'm not able to give the maximum," said the Petronas Yamaha rider.

"Now we work and we try to fix for tomorrow. I'm not fantastic but I'm a bit better [than it looks]. So we have to try something else in warm-up and decide the tyres for the race."

Rossi tried both the hard and medium rear tyre in final practice, but said the only real tyre decision still to be made is regarding the front.

"I hoped that the hard rear tyre would work like in Portimao, but unfortunately here I think that the performance of the hard is too far from the medium," Rossi said. "The grip level is low, not enough.

"I think that the only question mark is for the front tyre, between soft and medium, because I think the majority of the riders will chose the medium rear.

"If you have a good pace here you can overtake, but it is always difficult. I don’t have a particular strategy, just get the best start possible and then see what happens."

Team-mate Franco Morbidelli qualified second on the grid, behind factory Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo.