Ben Spies was the only rider, other than Factory Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, to hold pole position during Saturday's qualifying session for his home US MotoGP.
But Spies will start only fourth on the grid after a crash in the closing stages left him unable to respond to Lorenzo, and defenceless against the factory Hondas of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa.
“It wasn't a bad qualifying session, we tried a couple of things and the race set up is not so bad. We got in qualifying mode and got some pretty good laps in.
"I made a mistake and locked the front up on the brakes going in to turn three trying super hard to get on the front row. The Yamaha boss said to me last night that he wanted me on the front row so I was doing everything I could.
"Joking aside I was trying everything and just made a small mistake. I banged my hand up quite a bit but it will be fine and ready for the race tomorrow. I think we'll find a couple of things with the bike in the morning and hopefully it'll be a good day.”
The last time Spies raced in red-and-white he took his first MotoGP win, at Assen.