Ben Spies says only misfortune and technical problems are now standing between him on getting back on the MotoGP podium.
The American struggled in the opening part of the 2012 season, with a series of disappointing race performances putting his seat in the factory Yamaha line-up under pressure.
At Assen on Saturday he was beaten to third place by satellite Tech 3 Yamaha rider Andrea Dovizioso, but had to back off in the second half of the race due to a tire problem.
"Today the bike was good, I struggled with some front grip in the beginning but was able to ride around it," said Spies.
"I managed to stay past Dovi and ride at my own pace then about seven or eight laps from the end I was pushing to get away. A chunk came out of the tire and then a second; I couldn't do anything about it.
"I was hoping Dovi would get past me as I was worried the tire would explode and I didn't want to fall right in front of him."
Spies insisted that even though his results were only showing gradual improvement, he was now in much better shape than earlier in the year and just needed a change of luck.
"We've made some mistakes early in the year but the last two weekends we've had a bike to be on the podium but issues have prevented it," he said.
"The bike and the team are working so well and I've been really comfortable on it so it's disappointing."
Fourth place at Assen was Spies' best result of the season, and moved him back into the top 10 in the championship.