MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo saw a seven-race podium run end at Le Mans on Sunday - but still increased his advantage at the top of the 2011 standings.
At a track where he had won for the past two seasons, and traditionally favourable to Yamaha, Lorenzo was helpless to prevent Honda riders dominating the event.
But when two of them - Dani Pedrosa and Marco Simoncelli - clashed over second in the race, Lorenzo was briefly promoted to third.
However, both Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati's Valentino Rossi were able to overtake Lorenzo in the final five laps, demoting him to fourth.
Pedrosa's accident meant that Lorenzo extended his points advantage to 12 over new nearest rival Casey Stoner, winner of Sunday's race by 14 seconds.
Lorenzo, who suffered a fiery accident in morning warm-up, claims he will continue to do the best he can while waiting for 'developments'.
“I think the race has been good in general for us and the results and points are good for the Championship,” said Jorge. “Obviously I would like to fight with Casey and the other best riders for victory but at this moment it's really hard.
“What I can do is try to finish with the best result possible, take the maximum from our bike as it is now and wait for future improvements.”
Team manager Wilco Zeelenberg admitted the race team is after 'big improvements' from the factory.
“It's been a very tough race here in France but the final result is not so bad,” he said. “I'm not talking about the fourth position but the fact we are now leading the Championship by 12 points. I think it's very important to look ahead, we've got a lot to discuss after this weekend and will be looking for big improvements moving forward.”
Team-mate Ben Spies finished the race in sixth place, equalling his best result of the year.
“It was a pretty exciting race,” said Spies. “I made two mistakes on the first two laps and lost touch with Colin and Valentino. I tried to ride as hard as I could and was reeling in Colin until unfortunately he crashed; his bike slid across the track so I had to avoid it which allowed Nicky to get up to the back of me. We diced around a bit then I was able to get around him and go on my way. We got a sixth place result which is good for the points.”