For the first time in seven races, and despite qualifying a season-best fourth on the grid, Nicky Hayden's race results took a backward step at the Sachsenring on Sunday.

After an encouraging fifth in his home US Grand Prix, Hayden had been ranked fourth in both wet and dry conditions during the Sachsenring weekend, and went straight on the offensive at the start of the race.

But it was to cost him dear when he ran wide at turn one (pictured), dropping him back to 14th.

Thereafter the Ducati Marlboro rider, who fell in both qualifying and warm-up, spent most of the race in ninth place, before gaining one further position from fading Repsol Honda replacement Andrea Dovizioso.

"I knew I needed to get a good start if I was going to do anything special today but I got into turn one hot and everybody came underneath me," he recalled.

"To be honest after my crash in warm-up I started the race a little uptight because I didn't want to wreck another bike or throw away everything we have gained and learned this weekend.

"It is hard to be patient when you have a sniff of the front and instead of taking things step by step like we have up to now I pushed my luck and we've paid the price."

Hayden eventually crossed the line a few tenths from Marco Melandri and 0.874sec behind sixth placed Toni Elias.

"It wasn't the race we were looking for so I'm sorry to the team because the bike was capable of more here, I've just made a couple of mistakes this weekend," the 2006 world champion added. "I don't want to apologise for trying too hard though because I knew I could do good here.

"I'm disappointed with the race but not with the weekend on the whole because we're up and running now and moving forward."

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