Nicky Hayden reckons his crash in final practice on Friday morning was ultimately the root cause of his disappointing Dutch TT result.
After an encouraging run of form so far in 2010, Hayden was a quiet seventh at Assen today, having lost a lot of ground on lap one. But he traced his difficulties back to second practice.
"Yesterday morning we broke an engine, then had the crash - we lost a set of tyres in the crash and destroyed a bike, and lost our way a little bit," said Hayden. "From there I struggled to ever take that next step and everybody else got faster."
He still qualified fifth, but dropped to ninth off the start, although he said his getaway itself was fine.
"I made a decent start considering we've had a couple of little clutch problems," Hayden said. "But [Randy] de Puniet in front of me wheelied just enough that I had to get out of it, a couple of guys came past, and then in Turn 1 and 2 I didn't have a good feeling truthfully and a couple more guys came past.
"Then I had to work my way around Colin [Edwards] and [Marco] Simoncelli and a few guys, and by then the gap to that next group was already big. I thought that I could bridge it, but when I really tried to push I had a couple of warnings from the bike. It was just a pretty lonely, boring seventh place."
Hayden added that the Ducati's handling in the race had remained unpredictable.
"The front over the bumps was really harsh and it wasn't consistent," he said. "Same speed, same line and it was doing different stuff. So it was hard to find out where the limit was. I went faster in the race than I went all week on race tires, but it wasn't enough."