Ben Spies finished where he started in Sunday's Malaysian MotoGP - in fourth - but had dropped back to sixth in the early stages, after struggling for confidence in his hard compound Bridgestone rear tyre.

"I got a reasonable start but I suffered with the left side of the rear tyre not coming up to temperature as quick as I'd hoped," he said. "But once it did it worked great and I was able to fight my way through to another really strong result.

"I was behind Nicky for a while and got stuck there but once I got by him I was reeling off 2.02s to get into fourth and I was happy with my race pace. I knew I couldn't get third and that was a little frustrating because looking at the times of the top three, if I could have got away with them I really feel I could have been there.

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"I know Lorenzo wasn't pushing like his life depended on it with what he had at stake but I could have been closer to the front. It was still a good race for me and I made some good passes and I'm looking forward to Phillip Island now."

Spies also congratulated new world champion and 2011 factory Yamaha team-mate Lorenzo.

"I'd like to congratulate Jorge and Yamaha. Jorge has been fantastic all season and he definitely deserved to win the title. He hasn't made a mistake and I'm really looking forward to working with him in 2011," said the Texan.

Team-mate Colin Edwards had an eventful race, although not in a positive sense.

A braking problem hampered Edwards in the early laps and once he'd adapted his riding style to compensate, he battled a front-end grip issue.

Edwards was embroiled in an exciting four-rider tussle when he then crashed at turn four on lap ten.

Returning to the pit, the Tech 3 team worked frantically to repair his M1, Edwards returning to the track to try and score points for 13th place.

Unfortunately his efforts were unrewarded as he missed the cut-off for scoring points by just one lap.

"Right off the line I felt good and made a couple of passes but I understood from the start that I had small problem with the front brake," said Edwards. "At one point I nearly ran into the back of Ben and that made it really difficult in all the hard braking points and there are plenty of those at this track.

"Once I adapted to that I was having some issues with the front tyre. I'd had a couple of moments over the weekend but after about four laps I was struggling to hold a line. I was still pushing hard because I was in a good fight when I crashed at turn four. I don't know whether it was the brake or the tyre or a combination of both that put me down but it was one of those where I was waiting for it go.

"I wasn't going to give up, run wide and let a load of people fly by, but just lost the front.

"I went back out to try and score some points but unfortunately I was one lap short of being classified. I wasn't going to get in the way of Valentino, Andrea and Jorge, so I got out of the way and that lap cost me a finish.

"Finally I'd like to congratulate Jorge and Yamaha. They've been an awesome combination. He's been the fastest rider all year and he'll be the man to beat next season that's for sure."