Alvaro Bautista finished on the wrong side of a three-way fight for tenth place at the end of Sunday's Australian MotoGP.
The only Suzuki rider to start the race, after a leg injury for Loris Capirossi, Bautista got a good start from 14th and was up into 11th by the end of lap one.
As the race progressed - and the field started to spread out - Bautista found himself riding a lonely race, but never gave up the pursuit of Mika Kallio, who had had pulled a gap in-front of him.
He caught the Pramac Ducati rider on lap 24 of 27, but then Bautista was in turn put under pressure from LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet.
As the final lap started de Puniet had got in front of Bautista, but the rookie fought back to lead the three riders onto the final straight - when both de Puniet and Kallio drafted past, leaving Bautista in twelfth position, just 0.097sec from 10th.
“At the end of the race I was in a great battle with de Puniet and Kallio and we fought hard with each other in the last laps," recalled Bautista.
"On the last lap I passed de Puniet on the outside of turn seven and I got into 10th. On the last corner I tried to close the inside line so they couldn't get past me and as I was about 40 metres from the finish line I felt the bike lose a bit of power and speed and I lost two places.
"I don't know if the bike had a problem or not, but today I felt like I finished 10th, but the bike was 12th! It is not a good result compared to the last races, but here we knew that it would be a difficult weekend.
"I would liked to have finished in the top 10 because that result for Suzuki here would have been a very good one, but at the end - because of the bike - I could not finish there. We now have to work very hard in the next two races and I can't wait to get to Portugal and get riding again to forget the result here.”
Phillip Island is traditionally the GSV-R's worst track of the year.