Ben Spies described his podium finish on home ground at Indianapolis as a 'big' result, but admitted he did not have the speed to fight for victory.
On the weekend that he was named as Valentino Rossi's replacement in the factory Yamaha team for 2011, Spies took his first MotoGP pole with the satellite Tech 3 squad and led the opening laps of the race before being passed by Dani Pedrosa's Honda. He then held second for the remainder of the race, beating both works Yamahas.
"It's big. We did a good race," said Spies. "It wasn't perfect, but pole yesterday and a good start today, I led the race for a few laps, didn't make too many mistakes, but just wasn't fast enough. Dani came by and I just tried to stay where I was comfortable."
With the whole field struggling with the hot conditions and a slippery track surface, Spies said that having lost the lead he rode carefully to ensure he made the finish.
"It seemed like every couple of laps someone was crashed on the ground, so it was definitely getting greasy," he said. "It was tricky. It wasn't just the heat, it was the way the track was.
"I saw that I had two and half to three seconds gap pretty much the whole race and I just tried to stay consistent to Dani and to Jorge [Lorenzo]. To be able to put it up on the podium in front of the American crowd was good."