Chaz Davies’ pace in the second race of the US World Superbike round was hindered by a lack of rear grip, though the Ducati rider concedes the two Kawasakis ahead of him did a better job on Sunday.
Davies sensationally stormed to victory on Saturday despite riding in some discomfort from a back fracture sustained at Misano three weeks ago.
Starting from the third row as a result, along with KRT duo Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, Davies was unable to make the same progress as the two ahead of him – Sykes and Rea were one and two at the end of the first lap.
Taking six laps to get into the podium places, the gap between himself and second-placed Sykes had grown significantly and, despite his best efforts, he could not close down the Yorkshireman.
Davies complained of a lack of grip under initial acceleration at high lean, while his Panigale also made more noise than usual, though he does not feel this caused him any real issue.
“It was a mostly lonely but still difficult race,” said Davies, who no languishes 115 points adrift of championship leader Rea in third.
“Our start wasn’t bad, but our rivals’ was better.. It will be something to work on during the summer break.
“The bike was making a lot of noise today, so we’ll look into that, but I’m not sure it affected our performance. Our rivals rode a great race nonetheless.
“I was struggling with grip on the first touch of gas, at high lean angles. I tried my best to take second place, but we would have needed more laps.”
Team-mate Marco Melandri had a podium in his sights after improving the set-up on his Panigale in the morning warm-up.
However, the Italian also struggled for grip in the hotter conditions and once again took the chequered flag in a distant fourth.
Despite the disappointing weekend, especially after taking victory last time out at Misano, Melandri heads into the summer break pleased with the progress he has made on his return to WorldSBK.
“For sure we expected a better result after practice,” he said.
“Yesterday’s race was a bit strange, while after WUP today we though we found the right direction to take at least the podium, but once again we struggled during the race.
“It seems that our base set-up is really competitive but doesn’t work as well in hot conditions, where we struggle with grip. We need to understand why.
“Anyway, it’s been a positive first half of the season. I gradually adjusted to the bike and I feel progressively more comfortable.
“Of course we wanted to do better here after winning at Misano. The test at the Lausitzring will be very useful.
“We’ll get better, my team is working really hard and I’m optimistic for the future.”