Valentino Rossi felt his disappointing eighth place on the Phillip Island grid was primarily due to bad luck, with each of his flying laps at the end of qualifying being interrupted, but also admitted that he is still lacking pace this weekend.
The former champion has not been higher than seventh in any of the sessions in Australia so far, and qualifying saw him get blocked by Aleix Espargaro, delayed by Nicky Hayden's crash, and then frustrated by the rain shower at the end of the session.
"I was really unlucky today because with each of the softer tires, when I think I could have improved a bit, I had problems," said Rossi. "First it was Espargaro, then Hayden's bike on the track and then it began to rain, so I couldn't use any of the tires how I wanted in the end."
Although Rossi surged through from 12th after a poor start to win in Malaysia a week ago, he is concerned that a similar charge will not be possible at Phillip Island.
"We start from the third row, which will be very hard, especially because our race pace isn't that strong and we don't have the right setup yet," he said. "We need to work hard tonight and tomorrow morning to try to improve. The conditions aren't good and it's a great pity because this is a fantastic track but you can't enjoy it in this cold, because it takes so long for the tires to get to the right temperature. Tomorrow will be hard, but we will see what we can do."