Nicky Hayden could hardly conceal his disappointment after he finished his home race at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway in last place.
The 2006 world champion was the only rider to gamble on running Bridgestone’s soft compound front tyre and for nine laps the Kentucky rider occupied fifth spot.
But he quickly ran into major front grip issues and he dropped down the field to last. The wear on the left side of his front slick tyre was so aggressive that he had to pit, though he did go back out and cruise around to collect 14th.
The factory Ducati rider, who made his competitive debut on the GP11.1 Desmosedici, said: “The first few laps was probably the most fun I've had all year. It was the first time I've been able to put up any kind of real fight in the dry.
"This is the first week we've ridden the new bike, and early it was working pretty good. But it didn't last long. Our biggest problem is pushing the front. We couldn't make the hard tyre last because it pushed even worse.
"So we thought we’d go with the soft tyre but at the end I really couldn't even ride. It's a tough day. Other Ducati riders went with the hard front tyre and had to pit. So I'm really not sure it was going to make a big difference whichever way we went.
"And really, we're more worried about next year. This bike is a lot closer to what next year's bike is going to be. We've got a long way to go, but we can see some things that definitely do better."
The August 31 issue of MCN will feature seven pages of coverage from the Indy MotoGP round.