A frustrated James Toseland blamed set-up problems with his Tech 3 Yamaha for his slump in today's qualifying at Misano ahead of the San Marino Grand Prix.
The Briton could only set the 14th fastest time, 1.7 seconds slower than pole position man Valentino Rossi on the factory bike, and 0.9s slower than team-mate Colin Edwards, who scored a fifth place on the grid.
Toseland said that he struggled to come to terms with a new set-up used in the previous event at Indianapolis, which however allowed the former World Superbike champion to qualify tenth at the American track.
Despite that, the 28-year-old rider added that he regained some feeling towards the end of the session.
"I had a tough session," said Toseland. "With the new set-up from Indy last week we are still finding our way with this geometry and just got a little bit lost with the direction but right at the end the feeling was a lot better.
"I think there is positive potential in the changes from Indy and following a meeting with the team I think we now have a better direction.
"We have been making changes to improve the rear grip but this has been compromising the front feeling, the changes aren't big but it's frustrating to be 14th.
Toseland reckons the team is close to making a leap forward with the set-up and that he can have a better pace in the race.
"We are so close to finding something really good and being where Colin is and I know I can do the same job," he said. "I've got some more pace for the race and I'll give it my best shot even though it's difficult to pass here.
"On my final two laps the bike was feeling good and I was behind (Honda's Andrea) Dovizioso and I could stay with him but then (Scot Honda's Gabor) Talmacsi was waiting for someone and got in behind Dovi, but he couldn't keep up and that slowed me. It is no one's fault, just bad timing."
Texas's Edwards revealed he has found a better balance by having a set-up similar to the one used by Yamaha factory rider Jorge Lorenzo.
"This morning we tried a different weight balance but that didn't work, I couldn't get enough weight on the front," he explained. "We have played around with the front geometry and now I have headed towards the set-up used by Jorge Lorenzo and I think it's better.
"I've been fighting with running wide and not having enough turning. At the end of the session I put in the soft tyres and I thought, 'I either crash it or put in a fast lap' and I'm not sure I even shut off the throttle for the corner onto the back straight."