Le Mans was arguably the most important round of the year for the French-based Tech 3 team, which also had its title sponsor Monster backing the event.

The Yamaha M1 and Colin Edwards have traditionally been strong at the circuit, while rookie team-mate Ben Spies had been eighth fastest after the end of his very first hour on the track.

But the weekend went downhill for Tech 3, with Spies injuring his ankle in a Saturday morning fall while Edwards slipped from sixth fastest on Friday to eighth in qualifying, then 13th in the race.

"I know this bike inside out and I've had some of the best races of my career at Le Mans, but right now I just can't seem to fix some of the problems I'm having," said Edwards. "I can only go fast if I'm able to ride comfortable and smooth and at the moment I can't do that because I don't have the confidence.

"I'm working really hard with my guys at Tech 3 but we don't seem to be able to get on top of the problem at the moment. I spent a lot of the race behind Simoncelli and he was able to brake deeper than me. As soon as I'd brake and lean the bike over, I started to have a problem and right now I'm struggling to find an answer."

Meanwhile Spies didn't reach the flag after crashing out of eleventh place on lap 7 of 28, marking his second non-finish in a row after pulling out with a suspected technical problem at Jerez.

"It was a tough weekend and I made it tough for myself," said Spies. "Yesterday morning was my fault with the crash and missing a session didn't help. I need as much track time as I can get so to miss a whole hour isn't good.

"I got a good start and after the first two laps I got into a decent rhythm. Capirossi and Colin started to come back to me a little bit and I was feeling quite confident. But I looked up and saw Capirossi lose the front at the third corner and as soon as I tipped in I lost the front too and I was down.

"It was a weird crash but luckily I didn't pick up any further injury. Now I can take this week off and rest and go to Mugello to push at 100 per cent. It has been a rough last couple of races but I'm still confident I can be closer to the front when things are right and be doing a lot better."

Team manager Herve Poncharal, who also suffered the disappointment of seeing his Moto2 riders crash out of their race, confessed it had been 'a disaster'.

"It is a strong word but this has been a disaster for us because we were expecting a lot," said the Frenchman. "After Friday when we saw Ben learn the track even quicker than he did in Jerez we were very positive about his prospects and we know that Le Mans is one of Colin's best tracks.

"It is obvious that Ben was struggling a little bit with his foot and unfortunately he crashed in the race and I am sorry for him because he was determined to try and get in the top ten.

"Colin got a decent and he just never looked like the rider at this track that we know he can be. We'll analyse a lot of data to understand why we struggled and be as determined as ever to be back where we belong in Mugello."

To make matters more disappointing for Tech 3, factory Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi finished first and second.

"I'd like to congratulate Yamaha because once again they did a fantastic job and now we must improve to show our true potential with what is obviously an incredibly competitive YZR-M1 machine," said Poncharal.