British rider James Toseland has to improve his qualifying performances to bolster his hopes of emerging as a consistent top six threat in MotoGP.
The 28-year-old has only managed one top ten grid position in the opening three races in Qatar, Japan and Spain, and he heads into the Tech 3 Yamaha Team’s home race in Le Mans next weekend with a best result of ninth.
And team boss Herve Poncharal says the double World Superbike champion must try and claim a higher starting position in Le Mans qualifying.
Poncharal told MCN: “It is clear that James is giving himself a lot of work to do in the races when he is starting a way down the grid from qualifying.
"We have seen that his lap times have been as good as the group of riders in front of him. But starting from behind now in MotoGP makes it very difficult to fight your way through when the lap times are so close between everybody.
"If James had been higher up on the grid then it is possible he could have been in the top ten in every race. But the job is very difficult when you qualify outside of the top ten.
"He knows this is an area he has to improve himself because we saw last year several times that when he qualified well he had incredible races.”