Valentino Rossi said is “worrie” about his form after qualifying 17th for the MotoGP race at Portimao.
Rossi qualified 1.1 seconds behind the pole sitter Fabio Quartararo, who runs an identical Yamaha bike.
When asked if his current form concerned him, Rossi said “yes, the two bikes of the factory team with Quartararo and Vinales are stronger than me, they are faster.
“So, yes, I’m worried especially because I expected – and I want to try – to be more competitive.
“But the only way is to work and try step by step to improve a big,” he said.
Rossi had his worst-ever qualifying result last race in Qatar, and it is understood that the Italian rider has to meet performance criteria before talking with Yamaha about a continuation into 2022.
“It’s very difficult to make a big step, sincerely,” he said about his progress with the bike.
“But every race track is different. Here, compared to the second race in Qatar, I am a bit better, but anyway I’m not in the top group.
“I’m a bit faster compared to last year during the practice, but anyway it’s not enough to fight for the good positions.
“So for sure tomorrow will be hard starting from behind, and my pace is nothing fantastic.
“But for the warm-up we can try something else and we hope to be a bit faster tomorrow.”