Nicky Hayden said he felt like he had let his Ducati team down by losing the final podium position at Phillip Island to Valentino Rossi on the final lap.
The American had been part of a fraught battle for third all race, clawing back onto Rossi's tail after the Italian's early pass on Hayden at the MG corner sent him wide and cost him two positions.
Hayden thrust his Ducati past Rossi's Yamaha at the hairpin with two laps to go, only for Rossi to replicate that manoeuvre on the final lap and deny Hayden third place by just 0.038 seconds.
"It was a good, hard battle in the sunshine and I am very disappointed to have lost," said Hayden. "It would have been a lot cooler if it was for the win but fighting with Valentino Rossi for any position is never easy.
"I don't want to make excuses or be a cry baby and say 'maybe if I did this or that it would be different' because the bottom line is I got fourth, I got beaten. I feel down because this is a track I love, I felt good and to beat Rossi on the last lap would have been really good for me but I can't dress it up. I feel like I let the team down today because they gave me the bike to do the job but I didn't get it done."
But team boss Vittoriano Guareschi said Hayden should not be too hard on himself.
"Nicky had a great race – he was fast, determined and he only missed the podium by 0.038 seconds to Valentino," said Guareschi. "At Aragon he won a similar battle, today he lost, but the important thing is that he was there, riding as he was and in a position to fight for the podium."
Hayden's teammate Casey Stoner won the race, his fourth consecutive victory in his home grand prix.