Andrea Dovizioso is not confident he'll be able to fight with the top riders in tomorrow's Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril.
The Honda rider qualified down in eighth place today, more than 1.3 seconds off pole position and over eight tenths behind team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who will start from the fourth slot of the grid behind Yamaha title rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi and Ducati's Casey Stoner.
"Obviously when I look at the four guys at the front I can't be very confident: pace wise we aren't close enough to think about racing them," the former 125cc champion told Italia1.
"However last year we did the same in qualifying while we were with them in the race. This is a peculiar track, so we need to stay focused and go for it. We start a bit behind, but we must keep pushing, because we still have lots of work to do.
"We are concentrating on work on the rear, as this track's characteristics amplifies every problem. So we need to work in that direction."
Dovizioso also revealed that, in order to go quick, he tries to follow Pedrosa's racing lines, based on the assumption that the bike was designed around the Spaniard.
"The bike was developed by Pedrosa, so this is the package we have now," he said. "It doesn't suit my riding characteristics very much, but I'm trying to change because I've figured that the only way to go quick is to try to follow his racing lines. But this isn't my style.
"We are trying to develop a slightly different bike, that can go well for everyone and especially for me, so I'm convinced that next year we'll have a different package. We've spoken with Honda, and this is the reason why we've decided to continue: you can't know what things will be like until you try them, but these are the objectives."