Dani Pedrosa's Austin MotoGP may have had a nightmare ending, when he fell and took out Andrea Dovizioso, but the Honda rider had the small consolation of being far more competitive than in practice.
The Spaniard, who had qualified down in eighth, set the third best lap of the race and was fighting for second position at the time of his Turn 1 tumble.
Now Pedrosa heads for the first of his home events at Jerez, where he has climbed the podium for ten consecutive years, from 2005 to 2014, including MotoGP wins in 2008 and 2013, plus a 250cc victory in 2005.
That run was broken when Pedrosa was forced to miss the 2015 event while recovering from arm pump surgery.
“I'm looking forward to racing in Jerez as it's one of my favourite circuits on the calendar, and I missed not being able to race there last year,” he said.
“We'll try and give our best in front of our fans, starting the race weekend with a positive mood after the promising feeling we had at the last race, even if it had an unfortunate ending.
“I believe we could have fought for second place in Texas, so we must start from that and work hard beginning with FP1 on Friday.”
While Pedrosa is still chasing his first odium of the season, team-mate Marc Marquez has finished 3rd-1st-1st to hold the title lead heading into round four.
Pedrosa is currently fifth in the standings.