Toseland has had plenty of food for thought so far this season
Briton James Toseland says improved performance in qualifying is the key to sorting out his spluttering start to the 2009 MotoGP championship season.
Having set himself the pre-season goal of improved consistency, the Tech 3 Yamaha rider is finding his second year in the class as tough as the first.
"I need to sort out qualifying because I'm giving myself too much to do by being too far back," he said.
"If you start at the back you stay at the back in a class like this."
The 27-year-old's pre-season was overshadowed by a high-profile falling out with team-mate Colin Edwards and two major crashes in testing.
In three races so far this year, Toseland has qualified 13th, 10th and 14th and finished 16th, ninth and 13th, scoring 10 points.
"It has not been a great start to the season but I don't feel we're that far away," added the two-time World Superbike champion after the Spanish Grand Prix.
"We've got a lot of information from the Jerez weekend and we're eliminating things that we know don't work. I'm confident we're close to finding the setting I need and working hard with my guys to find it."
Tech 3 team boss Herve Poncharal agreed that qualifying was where the problem lay.
"His lap times in the race were not too bad but it is clear he must improve in qualifying," he commented.
"He is capable of a much stronger performance but it is difficult when you don't qualify well. The start of the race now is crucial and qualifying is something that he will work on with his crew."
The next round of the championship is on 17 May at Le Mans.