MotoGP world championship leader Valentino Rossi will need to produce another brilliant surge through the field if he is to extend his winning streak to four races in tomorrow’s Catalunya GP.
The Fiat Yamaha rider had his worst qualifying result of the season so far this afternoon as he ended a problematic session way down in ninth.
The Italian, who is 12-points clear of Honda rival Dani Pedrosa going into tomorrow’s 25-lap race, was a massive 1.241s behind fellow Bridgestone rider and pole setter Casey Stoner.
Rossi said: “This was quite a bad qualifying session for us! We had a lot of problems and now, unfortunately, we will have to start from the third row, our worst qualifying result so far this season.
"Tomorrow for sure will be a very hard race for us. We’ve tried to improve the setting but we haven’t been able to fix our problems, the main one of which is that we are not fast enough on the entry to the corners.
"Now we need to work all afternoon to try to find a solution and then see what we can do tomorrow. 25 laps is going to be quite difficult but we will try to come up with a plan and then I will try to recover as many positions as possible at the start and through the first few corners.
"If we can make a few small improvements and improve the feeling then we can try to do something tomorrow, we’ll just have to wait and see.”