After setting the pace on day 1, championship contender Jorge Lorenzo struggled going in to day 2, finishing the morning practice in fourth place.

Things didn’t really improve throughout qualifying for the young Spaniard, spending most of the session out of the top four. Switching to the softer Bridgestone tyres things finally started to improve, despite moving to second, he finish 0.569 off the pace of team-mate and championship contender Rossi.

“Today hasn’t been my best day” said the Fiat Yamaha rider, before admitting he struggled. “The conditions are basically the same as yesterday so I can’t blame them, but we just don’t have the same levels of grip and confidence that we had before and it’s hard to understand why. We didn’t make the step we expected and we are lacking pace compared to our rivals.”

The team will now set about working hard overnight to improve the setup ahead of the warm-up tomorrow. “Now we all need to study the data and work out what we can do for the warm-up tomorrow. I am happy that we were able to be back on the front row as this will be important, now we will just try our best to be in better shape for the race.”

Team Manager Daniele Romagnoli was happy that Lorenzo had managed to finish on the front row, saying: “At the end Jorge was able to do some very quick laps and make the front row, which is key for tomorrow.”

But was quick to note the problems they still faced: “Unfortunately we still need to find an improvement to our rear grip levels for the race, because at the moment we are not in perfect shape. The team have worked a lot to try to fix the problem but we still have more to do.”