Ben Spies felt he missed an opportunity to finish on the podium at his home Grand Prix after a terrible start cost him valuable time. The Yamaha rider qualified fourth at Laguna Seca but bogged down off the line and fell to seventh by the end of the first lap.

After an entertaining tussle with Valentino Rossi, the American fought his way through on lap three with Marco Simoncelli's retirement promoting him to fifth. Spies then chased down Andrea Dovizioso and snatched fourth with just over two laps remaining.

Despite his late recovery, the 27 year old still had his mind on the start, believing that he could have challenged Dani Pedrosa for third without his poor getaway.

“I got a really good start but going uphill to the steep part of the track basically we didn't have enough power. I got stuck behind Valentino, I tried to get around as quick as I could but he's really good on the brakes so it was pretty tough but I did the best I could. Once we got around him it was quite a big gap to Dovizioso but I just kept my head down and kept going. I'm happy we were able to track him down and get fourth. It was a really good race for us it just got spoilt in the first five hundred feet. I would have liked to have been on the podium as I think we had a package to fight with Dani, I guess that's racing and I gave it 100% as always.”

Team Director Massimo Meregalli added that Spies' impressive pace late on bodes well for the upcoming races, with Brno hosting the next round in three weeks.

“Unfortunately Ben lost too much time behind Valentino, then when he was able to pass him there was already a big gap to the front guys. He did really well and caught Dovizioso to finish fourth which is good for him and for his standings. We're looking forward to the next one already in Brno, the team have worked really hard this weekend and it's been a special time to celebrate our 50th anniversary of Grand Prix racing with everybody here at Laguna.”