Karel Abraham continued a solid if unspectacular rookie MotoGP season by bringing his Cardion AB Ducati home in eleventh place at Laguna Seca on Sunday, despite a late technical problem.
The Czech rider had been chasing fellow satellite Desmosedici rider Hector Barbera for ninth when he suffered an unusual suspension failure.
"Something in the rear suspension broke when I was getting close enough to overtake Hector Barbera," explained Abraham.
With bodywork touching the rear tyre, Abraham's lap times grew by eight and then eleven seconds over the last two laps, allowing Gresini's Hiroshi Aoyama to overtake Abraham at the very final turn.
"I am a bit disappointed that I finished just 0.282 second behind [Aoyama], but I am still satisfied with the result of the race," said Abraham, who is now twelve points ahead of fellow rookie Cal Crutchlow (Tech 3).
Abraham now has three weeks' to prepare for his first home MotoGP appearance in the Czech Republic Grand Prix, at the Brno track owned by his father.
"I am looking forward to the home grand prix for me and for my team. I think lots of fans will be at Brno to support me," he said.
Abraham has claimed a best race finish of seventh this year.