Suzuki rider Alvaro Bautista was left kicking himself for his qualifying crash after only managing 12th place on the Laguna Seca grid.
Bautista had been in the top 10 in every practice session and was expecting something similar on the grid until he fell at Turn 3 mid-way through qualifying. Though the Spaniard was unhurt, his bike was heavily damaged and he was unable to find enough speed from the spare.
"It has been a very big disappointment for me and the whole team this afternoon," said Bautista. "We had done well in every practice, but in the qualifying, where it is really important to make a good position for the race, I crashed and lost the opportunity to make a good lap.
"I think we need to be positive for tomorrow though, and take some encouragement from the fact that we did our best time on a 27-lap used tire, so this is good for the race. The bad thing is that we are near the back of the grid tomorrow, so I will have to make a good start like I have in the last two races and try to get a good position in the first corner. Tomorrow we will be trying our hardest and I will be giving it full gas!"
Team boss Paul Denning underlined that Bautista and Suzuki had ended up relying on a lap from a race simulation to set their grid spot, so could clearly go much faster on the repaired primary bike.
"It was a disappointing qualifying result after building speed so well over the rest of the weekend," said Denning. "Given that the tire that we did our fastest time on had done 27 laps, it's clear that we could have gone quite a bit faster than we did.
"The crash made things tough though, and it is what it is. The boys have a fair bit of work ahead of them to rebuild the bike, but we're over it now and all looking forward to the race tomorrow."