Valentino Rossi is expecting "a long hard race" after qualifying a lowly seventh for the first MotoGP race at Aragon this afternoon.
The multiple MotoGP champion struggled for speed throughout the session and his Yamaha team spent much of qualifying tinkering with the set-up of Rossi's bike. 'The Doctor' is also carrying a shoulder injury, which causes him pain under heavy braking.
"This morning was a bit of a disaster!" said Rossi, who had been an even worse 11th in final practice. "This afternoon things were a bit better but we are still not that fast.
"Unfortunately, with the softer Bridgestone tire at the end for my fast lap, I made a small mistake and lost half a second. Otherwise I think I could have been fourth. Now we have to start from the third row and the start of the race will be very important because I have to improve my position and stay with the leaders.
"We have some ideas and we will use the warm-up to try to find a way to improve our pace. It will be a hard and long race, but we will do our best."