British rider Cal Crutchlow saw his hopes of becoming the first British rider since Barry Sheene in 1982 to collect three consecutive MotoGP podiums end in disappointment at the US Grand Prix.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider never found a comfortable set-up at the tight and technical Laguna Seca track and he slumped to a lowly seventh position.
It was the first time in 2013 that Crutchlow has finished outside of the top five and his worst result in exactly a year after he finished eighth in Germany last July.
After topping the timesheets in a cold and cloudy FP1 on Friday morning, the 27-year-old never looked like claiming a fifth podium in six races in the 32-lap race.
Crutchlow was slowed by a lack of front and rear grip but wasn’t looking for excuses, the former World Supersport champion admitting the six in front of him were simply too fast on the day.
He told MCN: “I had a bad race, simple as that. I never found a setting all weekend. I have no excuses at all and I got beat fair and square. Not much else I can say other than that it is very disappointing.
"And to finish 15 seconds behind the winner is a long way and too much but I’ve known fourth to be that far back, so it could have been better.
"I was fastest in the first practice and then it was downhill from that point. Even then I felt bad with the bike and I was only fastest because the conditions were s**t. We made loads of changes to the bike but it felt the same the whole weekend.
"Valentino (Rossi) had the same issues but he just did a much better job than me in the race.
"I gambled on my set-up but it was worth it and if I can take any positive it is last year in a similar situation I would have not finished at all.
To finish in seventh and pick up some points at least was a finish. There were just a bunch of guys in front of me that rode better all weekend. That’s the first time I have been beaten by a satellite bike this year so I can’t be too down on myself.”
Explaining further why he had been unable to get in the rostrum hunt he added: “I had no feeling with the bike. I had no rear grip, I couldn't stop and I had no front grip too.
"I think we went in the wrong direction but I hold my hands up and say I am the one giving the feedback and we can only try what we can. It is all ifs, buts and maybes and at the end of the day I finished seventh. I got beat.”
For more from Crutchlow and his 2014 options, see the July 24 issue of Motor Cycle News.