Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mates Colin Edwards and James Toseland both felt their bike set-up was unsuitable for the Sunday conditions at Jerez, after finishing in seventh and 13th places.
Edwards spent the majority of the race in an entertaining battle with Italians Marco Melandri and Loris Capirossi. Whilst Melandri was able to lock-down fifth, Edwards and Capirossi exchanged sixth repeatedly during the final four laps, with the Suzuki rider emerging on top by 0.3sec.
“I got a really good start but right from the first lap I knew I wasn't going to be able to run the pace I needed,” said Edwards, who only set the tenth fastest race lap, 0.113sec ahead of Toseland. “The guys in front just gapped me immediately and I couldn't get the bike to turn.
“We went in the wrong direction yesterday when it was hot, so for the race we went back to the setting I'd had in the morning when the track temperature was a bit cooler. In the cooler temperatures that setting was fine, but once the temperature goes up I just couldn't get into the rhythm I want and know I was capable of.
“I wanted to be smooth and precise but I couldn't do that. I was having to adjust my style to get some weight on the rear to help the bike turn, but it wasn't enough for me to get into the top six and that's a bit frustrating.”
Team-mate Toseland hasn't felt fully comfortable with his M1 at any of the three rounds to date, whilst poor qualifying performances have made his task all the more difficult. The Englishman finished one place higher than he had qualified.
“It has been a tough weekend and we have got some issues to sort out,” said the 28-year-old. “We're still trying a few things on the bike and I'm still searching for a comfortable setting over a race distance. I still need a second or so on race pace but I need to sort out qualifying too. I can do the same times as four or five guys in front of me, but when you're all lapping at the same pace, it's hard to come through.
“It has not been a great start to the season but I don't feel we're that far away. We've got a lot of information from this 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,” he declared.
The pressure is now on both riders to impress at Tech 3's home French Grand Prix at Le Mans in two weeks' time, where Edwards took a podium finish for the team last season.
“Everybody at Tech 3 is now looking forward to our home race,” said team manager Herve Poncharal. “We know Le Mans is very good circuit for Yamaha and last year Colin was on the podium behind Jorge [Lorenzo] and Valentino [Rossi].”