British rider James Toseland branded his 14th place on the grid for tomorrow’s Italian MotoGP race a ‘disaster’.
The 28-year-old gave himself a mountain to climb in tomorrow’s 23-lap race as a best lap of 1.50.537 left him languishing down on the fifth row of the grid.
The double World Superbike champion, who had pledged to improve his qualifying performances, never seriously threatened the top ten as he struggled with a rear shock issue through most of the one-hour qualifying session.
And the deflated Yorkshireman said: “It’s a disaster to be so far down on the grid and it’s going to make the race difficult. I’m really frustrated because I feel I should be much higher up the grid. As I know from other races earlier this season, while I can run the lap times from around sixth to tenth place, the times in this class are so close that it can be hard to fight your through in the race. So being on the fifth row makes it incredibly difficult.”
Toseland blamed a lack of confidence with a rear shock setting for leaving him so far down the grid, though he was only 0.2s away from Yuki Takahashi in 10th and 0.5s off Repsol Honda Dani Pedrosa in eighth.
He added: “We were playing around with the suspension settings all weekend and been going in the right direction, but when I upped my pace on the softer compound tyre the rear shock setting wasn’t quite right. When the rear tyre was loaded as I opened the throttle it just had a harsh feeling with little movement, so we weren’t finding as much grip from the tyre as we could do.
"We made some changes in the session without making any big progress and right at the end on my last soft tyre we found something a bit better. But it was too late unfortunately and if we had found that direction a bit earlier it would have given me more time to build up my pace on the softer tyre.”