Jorge Lorenzo and Yamaha preferred to think of Sunday's US MotoGP as 20 points gained, rather than 5 points lost.

The reigning world champion was lucky to escape serious injury when he suffered a massive highside on Saturday morning, before claiming a remarkable pole position in the afternoon.

Indeed, sore or not, Lorenzo came into the race having shown the best consistent pace, but the Spaniard was unable to shake off the Repsol Hondas of Dani Pedrosa and then Casey Stoner during the grand prix.

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While Pedrosa eventually dropped away, Stoner - whose title lead had been cut to 15 points by Lorenzo - got ever stronger and surged past Lorenzo on lap 27 of 32.

"Well first of all I'm lucky to be in the second position, after the crash yesterday I thought it wasn't possible to race for a little while," said Lorenzo of his second place. "After qualifying I hoped I might be able to fight till the end for victory but sometimes expectations are not reality.

"Casey was faster today, I couldn't match his pace at the end. My physical condition is not so perfect which makes us a bit slow as well. Second is ok, we are only 20 points behind Casey and we'll try again next time."

Yamaha team manager Wilco Zeelenberg also thought the crash aftermath had prevented Lorenzo keeping Stoner at bay.

"It is obvious we wanted to win this one but I think yesterday's crash gave us not the best physical condition for a 32 lap race," he said. "At the end of the day, to take 20 points after a crash like that is not so bad. We'll take some rest now and head to Brno recovered and in fighting form ready to challenge Casey again."

"Second position is the best that Jorge could achieve considering his condition, which is very important for the Championship," added team director Massimo Meregalli.

The Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno will take place after the summer break on August 14. Lorenzo now has eight races left to overturn Stoner's 20 point lead.