Valentino Rossi admits he has to address his poor MotoGP qualifying form as he is throwing away chances to challenge Marc Marquez.
Seven-time MotoGP champion Rossi is enjoying a renaissance in 2014 and is currently second in the points after four podium finishes in the opening six races.
But his best qualifying result this year is a fourth place at Jerez.
The Italian has not started on the front row since Australia last October, and last took pole at the 2010 French Grand Prix.
"Now in MotoGP the key is qualifying, it's very important," said Rossi.
"I'm usually not very good in qualifying, so we have to work in a better way."
At Mugello two weeks ago Rossi rapidly charged forward from 10th on the grid to third, but by that time Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo were out of reach.
"I lost the chance to fight with them on Saturday," said Rossi, who admitted that the modern knockout qualifying format with its short Q2 pole shootout was proving hard for him to adjust to.
"With qualifying like this, just 15 minutes, it's difficult with timing, and with people trying to follow you, and trying to find free road in front. But I have to start in front if I want to fight with Marc and Jorge.
"I think qualifying now is the most wild part of the weekend. Compared to the other practices and the race, the lap time goes down by more than one second, and these guys - especially Marc this year - are able to improve so much and use the extra grip of the tyre at 100 per cent.
"The problem is that in qualifying, like in Qatar and at Mugello, half a second from pole is the fourth row and [your race chances are] already over."
Rossi believes there is no technical reason why his Yamaha cannot match Marquez's Honda on single-lap pace, so it is up to him to improve.
"Last year I was struggling on corner entry and I've improved a lot this year," said the Italian.
"This year the bike is better so it's just me. I have the potential to start in the top five and to try for the front row, so I have to try a new strategy."
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