Nicky Hayden came close to his second podium of the season as he set the fastest lap of Sunday's wet British MotoGP, in his attempts to hunt down Colin Edwards.
Hayden had lost contact with Edwards after a big moment earlier in the race, but was back on the attack in the closing stages.
However Edwards, riding just one week after breaking his collarbone, was able to respond and Hayden remained fourth at the flag.
“To be honest, I really liked my chances for a podium in the rain today; if you'd have told me before the race that I could have fourth, I'd have said, 'No thanks, I can do better,' but I'm not disappointed with my ride," said the Ducati rider.
"I didn't get a great start because the clutch was jumpy, and for the first few laps, it was hard to see and to get heat in the tyres. I had a big moment on the exit of Turn 1 and actually jarred my shoulder pretty good, but I tried to hang in there.
"I saw Colin in front of me for the podium, and I really pushed. I think that's the first time I've ever had the fastest lap on a Ducati, which is kind of cool even if you don't get points for it.
"Full respect to Colin a week after breaking his collarbone, but I still don't like him beating me for the podium! Thanks to the team. It hasn't been an easy weekend for us, but we kept trying and got a pretty good chunk of points. We'll take it and move on.”
Hayden's best race lap was a huge 2.898sec quicker than the best lap of team-mate and seven time MotoGP Valentino Rossi, who finished sixth from 13th on the grid.
"Nicky rode very well in the race, and if he hadn't come close to crashing early on, I think he could have done even better," stated team manager Vittoriano Guareschi. "After a high-side like the one he had, which allowed Spies and Edwards by, you need a little time to re-find your rhythm.
"He rode better than anyone else in the late laps, but the gap was too big to make up. In any case, he felt good on the bike, as we managed to find a good wet setup that he liked a lot."