Nicky Hayden took little satisfaction from fourth place at Jerez, even though it was among his best results since joining Ducati, and the first time he had beaten teammate Casey Stoner in a great fight.
The 2006 MotoGP champion has made big strides this year, and was right on the pace in Spain despite a massive crash in final practice. But he admitted that his second straight fourth place had not lived up to his expectations.
"Fourth place is no disaster but I was hoping to stay closer to the top three towards the end and put up a bit of a fight," said Hayden. "I'm not happy to be nine seconds adrift but we're trying to build something here and we've had another solid weekend.
"The team, the bike, everything has been great this weekend but we just fell a couple of tenths short on race day. To be honest I thought we might find a little extra for the race, like we did in Qatar, but it wasn't to be. This is the Ducati factory team and we don't jump up and down at fourth place but we'll take it."
Stoner had been upbeat on Friday and optimistic that he could produce his best ever Jerez performance, having traditionally struggled at the track, but he lost ground as the weekend progressed.
"We started the weekend strongly but only got worse compared to our rivals as the sessions went by and we were never able to improve on the base set-up that we started out with," said Stoner. "I think we fell into the trap of making changes to the bike that were too radical and it only served to confuse us because we never went in the right direction."
Team boss Filippo Preziosi is concerned that Stoner's struggle can be part of a wider issue that also contributed to his crash while leading in Qatar and his accident in practice.
"Casey didn't have a good feeling with the front and with two crashes already this year, one in Qatar and one here in practice, it seems we haven't solved our problem," said Preziosi. "Fortunately we have a day of testing here tomorrow and that comes at a good time for us because we can analyse all the data and try to get a better understanding of what happened."