Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso has "lost his way" in recent MotoGP races, according to his former team-mate Cal Crutchlow.
Dovizioso qualified 13th for the German Grand Prix while his title rival Marc Marquez - ahead of the Ducati rider by 44 points in the title race - has taken pole position for Sunday's race.
The Ducati rider has not won a race since the Qatar season opener and has only finished ahead of Marquez in a race once, doing so in Austin after the Honda rider crashed out of the lead.
Dovizioso also had his level of aggression in battle questioned ahead of the German Grand Prix and the Ducati rider shout down the comments in the pre-event press conference.
Crutchlow, who was team-mates with Dovizioso at Ducati in 2014, says Dovizioso has lost his way and has not been able to make the most of the Ducati bike's strengths.
"I think Dovi lost his way and this is quite clear to see," said Crutchlow, who qualified sixth at the Sachsenring.
"I think that he is not riding as well as last year, I don't believe. But I don't know what is going on inside the garage, I don't know the bike he is riding.
"If you look at him two years ago, I think he was in a stronger moment than what he is now.
"I think Dovi is riding better when he doesn't think of the championship, when he goes for the race wins [instead].
"In general, in the last races he has not been so fast in many of the practices and I think he's more lost the way and he is not using the bike's strengths.
"Dovi is a great and fantastic rider and good friend of mine but, the tracks that he could have taken advantage of Marc I think he's lost that opportunity.
"Now he's had some bad races, some bad qualifyings, I think it is getting a little bit worse for him."
Crutchlow says MotoGP needs Dovizioso to improve so that the title race becomes closer.
"Hopefully he is able to get faster because we need the championship to be better than the points difference is at the moment," said Crutchlow.
"All credit to Marc, he is riding better this year than he ever rode."
Dovizioso expects a difficult race from 13th on the grid at the Sachsenring because he does not have the pace of the frontrunners and expects to struggle with tyre consumption.
"We will see which strategy we can do but we don't have a lot of cards to use this moment," Dovizioso said.
"The situation is difficult because we don't have any positive part of the race where we can be strong.
"In some moments we can be very close to the fastest, but anyway we lose [out] and in some moment we lose [out] more. At the end of the race, it [the tyre] will be a problem.
"If I lose a lot the rear tyre [durability] to recover a lot of positions, I will pay [for] that."