Dani Pedrosa's 2010 MotoGP title chances could well have been left in the Laguna Seca gravel trap, after falling from the lead on lap 12 of Sunday's US Grand Prix.
Winner one week earlier in Germany, the Repsol Honda rider came into the event 47 points behind Jorge Lorenzo, and had a fighting chance of scoring his first ever back-to-back MotoGP wins as he scorched into the lead from fourth on the grid.
But Pedrosa didn't escape and by lap ten Lorenzo was putting his fellow Spaniard under serious pressure.
Choosing to put up a fight, rather than roll over an admit defeat, Pedrosa 'took risks' and was subsequently caught out by a bump on the entry to turn five.
“At the time I that I crashed I was pushing hard to maintain the gap to Lorenzo and my rhythm was good," said Pedrosa. "Unfortunately though I hit a bump on the way into the corner and I couldn't do anything - I was down.
"It's very very disappointing obviously but this can happen when you're trying everything to win. You have to push as much as you can and take risks - and I really wanted to win this race."
Instead, Lorenzo went on to claim his sixth win from nine races and is now 72 points, almost three race wins, ahead of Pedrosa as the season reached its halfway point.
"The one thing we can do now is to remember that we were having a good race until this moment, and we were leading the race - this is what I want to take from the weekend," said Dani. "You cannot sit there with your arms crossed thinking about what could have been.
"For the whole weekend me and the team were working well and we put ourselves in a winning position. It hasn't worked out for us but we'll come back fighting at the next one.”
"Dani was unlucky to crash and this can happen when you're going all out for victory," sympathised team manager Toshiyuki Yamaji.