Sylvain Guintoli raised his stock with one of his best MotoGP performances of the season after climbing to seventh place at a rain-soaked Indianapolis.
Although not quite as good as his sixth place finish in similarly treacherous conditions in Germany, Guintoli had to recover from a 14th place grid position, as well as a poor start, to climb past Dani Pedrosa in the closing stages and snatch arguably his strongest result in a race of no retirements.
Still, the Frenchman, who looks increasingly likely to be out of a ride for 2009, wasn't entirely satisfied with his performance, blaming the bad start for preventing him from finishing even better.
“Unfortunately I didn't start well. I took too much time to warm up the new tyres but when I found a good feeling I have done a good comeback. If I would have started better I could have surely finish in a better position. I am anyway satisfied because I come from a race, in Misano, where I didn't go so well and now I found back a good feeling with the bike. I hope to be able to improve even more in the last four races.”
In-form Alice Ducati team-mate Toni Elias, meanwhile, couldn't match his podium-winning exploits from Brno and Misano, but still came away with a solid 12th place finish, a result that lifts him into the top ten overall.
“I can remain positive because we have improved with this sort of track conditions. Surely the twelfth position isn't the best but it went better than the previous occasions. A pity the race wasn't dry: this morning during the warm up I felt really good and I could have fought with Valentino and Casey for the first three positions. I remain anyway trustful, we will surely have another possibility to do well in the next four races.”
It was good news for the Alice as a whole too as they jumped up to sixth in the team standings ahead of their key satellite Honda rivals San Carlo Gresini.
“For sure a difficult race,” said Alice technical director Fabiano Sterlacchini. “The track condition has changed a lot during the race due to the bad weather. A pity the track didn't make it to completely dry out otherwise Toni could have gained many more positions.
“His lap times from this morning's warm up with dry track were really good. If it would have been a dry race we could have achieved a good result. Sylvain has done a good performance. We are not surprised as with this track conditions he has always done well.
“Thanks to the points conquered today we gained a position in the Team classification and we are really happy about it. In the last four races of the season we will try to do our best to conclude in the best way.”