After charging from ninth to a career best fourth in the Qatar MotoGP, Open class star Aleix Espargaro experienced exact opposite fortunes in Texas - starting fourth and finishing ninth.

Like fellow second row starter Valentino Rossi, the Forward Yamaha rider was likely distracted by Jorge Lorenzo's jump start, finishing the first lap in twelfth place.

But Espargaro had warned after qualifying that his high grid position "wasn't real" and that without the special soft tyre he was having major problems.

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That proved to be the case in the race, when the Spaniard struggled with chronic chatter and ultimately settled for points, blaming the switch from the 2014 to 2013 medium compound rear.

"The race was a disaster because I had a really bad feeling. I had a lot of chatter and there was no way to go fast," he said.

"With the soft tyre, the feedback was not too bad, but it was impossible to race. With the hard tyre - with the new [2014] generation we felt really good in Qatar and during testing in Malaysia.

"But with this tyre from last year we were just chattering and chattering. I hope this game is finished and we can all go with the new generation tyre for the rest of the season."

Unlike many Yamaha riders, Espargaro at least did not suffer front tyre issues as such, the chatter being generated from the rear, but revealed his rear tyre situation was similar to Ducati's Cal Crutchlow.

"My front tyre was perfect but Bridgestone said my rear tyre was not good like Crutchlow, who [pitted and changed his tyre during the race] because he felt a lot of vibration. I had the same. Unbelievable vibration. I just finished the race, ninth is not too bad and we take a couple of points."

Despite the setback, Espargaro is adamant he can stand on the rostrum this season.

"In Qatar our pace was really good. We were really close to the podium. I just made two big mistakes in qualifying. But here I didn't feel good all weekend. It was a disaster. The soft tyre was okay but the hard tyre was a disaster.

"Now I'm just looking forward to Argentina. I'm confident we can do a podium this year, 100% sure. This is our target and we are not too far away."

Over 13 seconds clear of the next best Open rider, Espargaro has only lost one place in the championship standings. Team-mate Colin Edwards retired from his final home race with technical problems.