Heavy traffic in the decisive final moments of Moto2 qualifying at Indianapolis cost Scott Redding chance to claim a sensational pole position.
The British rider has been in inspired form all weekend and topped practice yesterday and again on Saturday morning riding the Marc VDS Racing machine.
But bidding for his first ever Grand Prix pole position, the 17-year-old was held up in heavy track on the Indianapolis circuit and had to settle for third place on the grid.
The Gloucestershire rider, who is the youngest rider in history to win a Grand Prix, posted a best time of 1.46.334 but finished 0.195s behind Spaniard Julian Simon in pole position.
Redding, who scored a best Moto2 result of fourth in his home race at Silverstone in June, said: “Pole position had my name written all over it, but I lost out to the traffic right at the end.
"I was fastest halfway through the session, but got pushed back to second place by my own teammate, which was quite rude of him I thought! I had the pace to reclaim the top spot, but every time I was quickest through the first three sectors I got baulked in the fourth.
"It was incredibly frustrating, as was having (Yuki) Takahashi following me everywhere; he even stopped when I stopped on the side of the track!
"But, I'm happy to be on the front row for the first time this season. We've got the pace in race trim and the fact that I won't have to fight my way through the field for once means a podium finish is a real possibility. That's what I'll be aiming for, anyway."