Ben Spies missed a third successive front row start in tomorrow’s Misano MotoGP race by just 0.075s in a closely fought qualifying session.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider, who qualified on pole position for the first time in Indianapolis a week ago, will start tomorrow’s 28-lap race from fifth place on the grid having posted a best time of 1.34.472.
That left the rookie sensation just 0.002s behind reigning world champion Valentino Rossi and only 0.075s behind Aussie Casey Stoner in third place.
But Spies blamed Italian veteran Loris Capirossi for his failure to extend his brilliant qualifying performances.
The 26-year-old felt the factory Suzuki rider baulked him and that incident probably cost him his chance to join Spanish duo Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo.
Spies, who claimed a career best second place in America last weekend, said: “I'm a little upset and I definitely should have been on the front row. But I kind caught up with Loris who was on a Sunday cruise and that's aggravating.
"The last few laps I put in I was making stupid mistakes that would have given me a better time but when you get somebody that messes your lap up just because they are being careless, it's pretty damn annoying and that's what happened because that was my best lap.
"I wasn't too upset at the time because I didn't think it would be a front row lap but if hadn't been for him I’m pretty sure I would be sitting on the outside of the front row.”
Spies though is confident he can mount a rostrum challenge in round 12 tomorrow having made big progress with the set-up of his YZR-M1 machine.
The reigning World Superbike champion said: “We made some changes overnight that didn't really help this morning and then made more changes before the session and made a lot of improvement.
"Everything went smooth and I got going a lot better and got my confidence going mid-corner and it was a good qualifying session. I'm a whole lot happier compared to where I was at this morning and we’ve got the bike working.”
The most significant improvement came with the front-end performance of his YZR-M1, which had been a niggling issue during practice.
“We made some changes and I'm pretty happy because usually when you are reinventing the wheel you find something good and something horrible but we made it quite a bit better.
"It made me ride a little better and I think there's more to come, nothing mind blowing but to make it easier to ride towards the end of the race. To be in the middle of row two is a perfect starting position for this track."