Casey Stoner's MotoGP win drought has grown to ten races after a second place finish in Sunday's US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
The Ducati rider looked in with his best chance of victory since crashing from the lead in Qatar, after battling title leader Jorge Lorenzo throughout practice and qualifying, but front-end problems with his Desmosedici forced him to back off in the race.
Stoner initially held second behind Dani Pedrosa, but ran wide on lap six, letting Lorenzo past.
Stoner was then promoted back to second by Pedrosa's lap twelve accident, but could do nothing about Lorenzo, who finished 3.5sec clear.
“The bike felt good at the start of the race but at this circuit you always have to wait for a lap, a lap and a half for the tyres to warm up," began Stoner. "As soon as everything felt alright I thought I'd try to push and make a pass on Dani for the lead but I immediately lost the front.
"I pulled myself back together and tried to hunt him down again but made another little mistake. Another lap or two later I closed the front again and ran well wide, I was almost off the track. At that point I decided just to gather myself, ride smooth and consistent and try not to lose too much time to the two guys in front of me.
"I started to pull them in but lost the front again. It was a shame because the bike felt good around most of the circuit, we just struggled with the front in a couple of corners. Having said that I'm happy and thankful to my guys because we were able to put up more of a fight this weekend.”
Team-mate Nicky Hayden finished fifth in front of his home fans.