Nicky Hayden came within a few corners of claiming Ducati's first podium of the season, during Sunday's British MotoGP at Silverstone.

The 2006 world champion moved into third place with four laps to go, but couldn't hold off fellow American Ben Spies, who slipped past through the ultra-quick Abbey turn.

Hayden was thus left with his fourth fourth-place from the five races so far this season.

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"It's a pretty frustrating result because the team did a great job with the bike after the warm-up and it was a lot of fun to ride," said Hayden. "Unfortunately I didn't get a good start - we've been having some little clutch problems and didn't get away well.

"The race was really fun, everybody was going back and forth, I was able to make some moves in the corners but just didn't really have the top speed in the straights.

"It's hard for me to dress this result up because I'm not happy to finish fourth again but the good thing is we were in the hunt again. We did something good with the bike today so hopefully it will work at Assen, a circuit I love."

Like Hayden, team-mate Casey Stoner also finished less than one second behind runner-up Andrea Dovizioso, after charging forwards from 15th and last at turn one to join the podium pack.

"I'm not happy with fifth place because we were capable of more today. I don't know if we could have challenged Jorge for the win but we definitely found something in warm-up and made more improvements in the race, but we paid the price for a terrible start," said Stoner.

"As I let the clutch out the bike started jumping and hopping around and I had to pull the clutch in and go again, by which time everybody was past. The tyres were fresh on before the warm-up lap so in the early laps I had to be really careful before being able to start overtaking and I lost a lot of seconds.

"The race then was fun, we were able to find a good rhythm and to make our way forward but the time lost at the beginning prevented us by fighting for the podium."