Valentino Rossi believes that qualifying on the front row will be essential if he is to win the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The 30-year-old Italian, who only needs a top-four finish at Sepang to claim his seventh premier class world title, was fourth quickest in Friday practice, and almost seven tenths of a second slower than his pace-setting Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
"It's going to be very important to be on the front row on Sunday," said Rossi. "And to do this, we still need to find some more grip. To do that, we will try to improve the setting of the bike in the morning – and I think that we can."
Rossi said that he was nevertheless content with his race pace, having concentrated on long runs on race rubber during the session.
"We worked mainly with old tyres to understand the nature of the bike when it's sliding, which is important because the track is quite dirty," he added. "Actually my pace was quite consistent [on race tires] – the Bridgestones are working well, despite the hot track temperatures. I'm quite happy with the times, even if the position isn't perfect."