It's Saturday, June 25, and the 2011 Dutch TT at Assen has just finished. Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies has taken the chequered flag for his maiden MotoGP victory. Little did we know at the time that June 25 would be the last time the Star Spangled Banner would ring out during a MotoGP podium ceremony.
Spies' career took a nosedive after '11, with a crash-strewn year in '12 (as well as a Valentino Rossi looking for an exit from Ducati) losing him his place at Yamaha, while further injuries upon his switch to Pramac Ducati ultimately ended his career.
Since that day at Assen, American success on the world stage has tragically evaporated, with it now six years since a rider from the US was a full-time member of the MotoGP paddock - and even then, Colin Edwards' final campaign lasted just 10 races.