Dani Pedrosa was left to rue a first corner mistake that dented his hopes of recording a third successive MotoGP victory at the Motorland Aragon track.
The Repsol Honda was looking to fight his way to the front past the fast starting Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo when he had a big rear tyre slide exiting the first corner.
He lost two places and dropped back down to fifth and by the time he’d climbed back in to second place on the third lap, Aussie Stoner was already streaking away to notch his first win in 11 months.
Pedrosa, who had dominated the recent Indianapolis and Misano races, cut Lorenzo’s championship lead to 56-points with just five races remaining and he said:
“I’m pretty happy with second place even though of course I wanted to win in front of the Spanish fans. In the first corner I had a slide which lost me a couple of places and then over the next few laps I had to make up some positions before getting behind Casey.
"By this point he was quite a way in front and our pace was similar at this stage so I tried really hard to catch him and managed to close the gap.
"But then I started to have some rear-wheel slides and it wasn’t possible for me stay with him so I thought: ‘Ok, this is my place today.’ Our bike here was struggling more with tyre wear than some of the others, but anyway, second place is not bad and the championship is still alive, even though it will be very difficult to catch Lorenzo.”