Looking to recover from a bad race in Brno, Jorge Lorenzo instead found himself on the back foot relative to MotoGP title leader Casey Stoner throughout the Indianapolis weekend.
Yamaha's reigning world champion never really found a set-up for the resurfaced track and struggled with front-tyre wear from as early as lap four of the race.
Third behind Stoner and his Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa for the first 16 laps, Lorenzo was caught and passed by team-mate Ben Spies, before just holding off third Repsol rider Andrea Dovizioso in the closing stages.
With Stoner winning his seventh race of the year, Lorenzo has now dropped 44 points behind the Australian with six rounds to go.
“It's a shame; I thought I could reduce my gap with Casey at Indy but since the first practice I have had many problems with the asphalt and the front tyre. I've tried everything with my team to fix it, but we couldn't," confirmed Lorenzo.
"After four or five laps the front tyre was destroyed. I saw the other three front riders and their tyres were perfect. I don't know if it was because of the track and I'm not the only one complaining.
"Now the Championship is much more complicated, but hope is the last thing you can lose. Next weekend we ride again at Misano, I looking forward to forgetting this result."