Ben Spies suffered his first DNF in MotoGP after being forced to pull into the Monster Yamaha tech 3 pits early in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
The reigning World Superbike champion and 2010 MotoGP rookie made a strong start to rise from eighth to sixth on lap one - of what was his sixth grand prix start since 2008 - but could instantly feel a serious problem with the front end of his M1.
“It's just one of those things that can happen but it's really unfortunate because after coming here and learning the track really quick I thought we had a really good package for the race,” said Spies.
“I just had some problem with the front-end. I'm not sure what the problem is but I've looked at the data and you can clearly see I had an issue. The bike just wasn't reacting like it should and it is a big shame.
“I got a really good start and was right behind Casey [Stoner] but pretty much from the first lap I knew I had a problem. I tried to round around the problem but at the end of the day I wasn't going to be scoring any points and I'd have risked crashing if I'd continued.
“The consolation is that I know we had the speed for a good result and there are a lot of positive points to take from the weekend. We can go to Le Mans confident that I'll be able to show more of my true potential,” Spies concluded.
Team-mate Colin Edwards made it to the finish, but twelfth place was far below his expectations.
“I think I've had one good race at Jerez in my entire career and today wasn't it,” he admitted. “This weekend has been a struggle and I've never been comfortable on the bike to show the pace I know I am capable of.
“Right from the start I had issues with the rear grip and I couldn't hold any load on the tyre at full lean angle. That also created some problems with the front-end, so I just struggled with the balance of the bike. It's the exact same issue that I had in Qatar even though the set-up I'm running is quite a bit different.
“I'd just like to be in a race. At the moment I just feel like I'm riding around and suffering. I can only look forward to Le Mans knowing that I go really well at that track and so does the Yamaha."