Ben Spies was remaining in an upbeat mood despite missing out on the chance to notch up a second MotoGP podium finish of the season, the American insisting a 'small problem' with the bike stopped him from managing better than fourth.
The reigning World Superbike Champion was the star performer in qualifying when he placed the Tech 3 Yamaha on the front row of the grid, but while he maintained a solid pace at the start of the race, he eventually faded.
Attributing it to 'problems with the front', Spies fell away from Dani Pedrosa before being overtaken by Casey Stoner, leaving him in fourth position.
Even so, Spies remains confident in his ability to run at the front, suggesting he could have posed a greater threat to Pedrosa for second had he been able to run the pace he had been during practice and qualifying.
“I got a good start and was staying right with Jorge [Lorenzo] and Dani for a few laps and had a comfortable pace,” he said. “But after about lap seven I starting having problems with the front that I hadn't experienced all weekend. It's a shame because while I know I definitely didn't have anything to fight Jorge with because he is riding so well, maybe I could have stayed close to Dani. I'm not saying I'd have beaten him but I'd have been closer to put up a challenge.
“I had one second on Casey when I started having th e problems but I had to slow my pace quite a bit and that was a bit frustrating because it meant he caught me quite quickly. I couldn't run his speed so when he passed me I didn't worry about trying to run with him. I'm not upset though because without that small problem I could have easily battled for the podium.
“I'd have loved the podium to give me a big lift before going home to Indianapolis, but I'm really happy with my recent performances and once again I was the top satellite team rider and I can't be unhappy with fourth place."
Spies's performance keeps him seventh in the standings, just nine points adrift of countryman Nicky Hayden.and 11 points off Valentino Rossi, the man he is tipped to replace at FIAT Yamaha in 2011.