MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo has resigned himself to fighting for a podium finish at best in tomorrow's Aragon Grand Prix after struggling to fourth on the grid.
Yamaha has been unable to match the Hondas' pace at the Spanish track, and although Lorenzo and teammate Ben Spies managed fourth and third, respectively, in qualifying, they were left breathless by first and second-place starters Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa's Hondas.
Lorenzo had got his title challenge back on track by winning at Misano a fortnight ago, but was downcast about Yamaha's chances in tomorrow's race.
"We struggled here last year and we are here struggling again this year, maybe even more," he said. "We have many problems with rear grip; we are not getting enough traction to be really fast.
"Tomorrow I think the maximum we can get is third place on the podium unless something very strange happens so that is the goal we have.
"The long straight is not the best for us but in the corners we are also a bit slower than the others so we must find something."
Yamaha team manager Wilco Zeelenberg fears that the grand prix could be even harder for Yamaha than qualifying.
"We're still struggling for grip so fourth place is not so bad, it's far from good though," he said.
"With the soft tire we can do a decent lap time, with the hard race tire we struggle even more though so for sure we need to try and find something for tomorrow morning. We will go over the data from today and see what we can come up with to try in warm-up."