A mix-up with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Colin Edwards denied Ben Spies the chance of a front row start for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.
The rookie had been on pole position with 15 minutes of the hour remaining, and was looking to retake the position when he caught up to Edwards on the back straight with five minutes to go.
Edwards saw Spies approaching and accelerated to try and hand him a tow, but Spies was a little too far back and couldn't slipstream past Edwards before they reached the braking area.
"I caught Colin and he was actually trying give me a tow down the back straight to help me out, but I was a little further back than he thought and by the time I got to him we were hitting the brakes and I missed my brake marker and ran wide," explained Spies.
"That lap would have put me on the front row for sure, but I'm confident that if we raced right now I'd be in the top five and that's what I'm looking for."
Spies, on pole at Indianapolis, will start fourth on the grid, with Edwards seventh.
"I was coming into the pits and I looked back coming out of turn four and I could see Ben was behind me," said Edwards of the incident. "I thought I'd pick my pace up a little bit so I could perhaps tow him down the back straight and he might be able to get on the front row or even pole.
"But as I got closer to the final corner I guess he just missed his braking marker. Both of us ended up decent on the grid though and I'm looking forward to the race."