Dani Pedrosa has conceded his hopes of lifting a maiden MotoGP world title in 2010 all but disappeared when he crashed out of the lead at Laguna Seca yesterday.
The Spaniard got his trademark fast start to grab the holeshot and led for the opening 12 laps.
But just when he started to come under intense pressure from Spanish rival Jorge Lorenzo, he lost the front of his factory RC212V at turn five.
Pedrosa went hurtling into a trackside air fence but was able to walk away unscathed.
Unfortunately his title hopes suffered a much more serious blow as his blunder left Lorenzo unchallenged to scorch to his sixth win in nine races.
Lorenzo heads into the summer break with a comfortable 72-point lead in the championship and Pedrosa admitted he needed a miracle to get back into serious contention.
"For sure it is very difficult. Jorge with his results he is doing very good and he is three races ahead, so it is difficult.
"I have to try to do the best results possible, “said a downbeat Pedrosa, who was on course to win back-to-back races in MotoGP for the first time in his career.
Lorenzo had taken 0.5s out of Pedrosa’s lead in three laps and the 24-year-old said: “At the time I that I crashed I was pushing hard to maintain the gap to Lorenzo and my rhythm was good.
"Unfortunately though I hit a bump on the way into the corner and I couldn’t do anything - I was down. It’s very, very disappointing obviously but this can happen when you’re trying everything to win.
"You have to push as much as you can and take risks - and I really wanted to win this race.
"The one thing we can do now is to remember that we were having a good race until this moment, and we were leading the race - this is what I want to take from the weekend.
"You cannot sit there with your arms crossed thinking about what could have been.
"For the whole weekend me and the team were working well and we put ourselves in a winning position. It hasn’t worked out for us but we’ll come back fighting at the next one.”