Rizla Suzuki's ?lvaro Bautista finished Sunday's US Grand Prix in the gravel after crashing out of eighth place just before the halfway mark of the 32 laps.

Bautista had advanced from twelfth on the grid and looked set to join the battle for sixth between the Factory Ducatis of Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi - both of whom he beat, on the last lap, at the previous Sunday's German round.

Bautista was closing on the pair when he low-sided his GSV-R. The Spaniard unable to restart his machine and had to retire from the race.

"I am very, very disappointed after today and really frustrated because although we did a really good job all weekend, we didn't get the result we deserved and I crashed," said Bautista. "We tried many different things here this weekend and used a completely different setting to last year and we managed to get the same good feeling as we had in Germany.

"This is the best I have felt on a bike in my MotoGP career so I know things are moving in the right direction.

"For the race I started with a hard front tyre and I now think it was a mistake not to use a soft," he continued. "I overtook some other guys and got behind the Ducatis, but I was a bit far away and had to catch them up.

"My rhythm was really good and I had a lot of confidence in the bike, but I lost the front without any reason and crashed. I had entered that corner at the same speed and in the same place in previous laps so I don't know what happened.

"I am happy with the work we did this weekend and pleased with my level on the bike. Before the crash I was fighting for sixth or seventh and I know we can be there now and we have to keep working at this level and higher in the next races."

"Once the race settled down, our lap-times were not so different from Dovizioso and Spies battling for fourth, so despite today's' disappointment there are a lot of positives to take from this weekend at Laguna Seca," added team manager Paul Denning.

MotoGP now embarks on a short summer break before resuming the 2011 season at Brno on Sunday 14th August, when Bautista will be joined by John Hopkins, who is making a wild-card appearance at the eastern European circuit.