Loris Capirossi said he was not too downcast to finish 13th and last in Portugal, as following his recent run of injuries, accidents and failures, just reaching the chequered flag was a relief.
A practice crash at Phillip Island a fortnight ago left Capirossi with a broken leg, which followed soon after the hand injury that had ruled him out of the Aragon race. Today was his first race finish since Indianapolis at the end of August, and Capirossi felt that was satisfying in the circumstances, even though he had not been able to keep up with the rest of the field.
"The race was not so good, nor was the position, but I am still happy because it has been a long time since I have finished a race," said Capirossi.
"I don't remember when the last one was - I think it was Indianapolis - so to finish was my first target today.
"We never rode in dry conditions here all weekend so we did not know what setting to go for in the race and the bike was really unstable today, so I had to fight with that as well.
"I was able to overtake Carlos [Checa] early on and from then I just wanted to finish the race. It has been really hard for me today, but as I said I am happy just to finish."
Team boss Paul Denning agreed that Capirossi's finish was an achievement in itself.
"It was a bonus for him just to see the chequered flag," Denning said, "his physical condition is far from good and he did well to tough it out and bring the bike home."
With Alvaro Bautista only 11th on the other Suzuki, Denning felt his team had suffered more than most from the total lack of dry practice.
"Going straight into the race with no dry practice at all was always going to throw up some interesting results, but unfortunately we definitely needed some dry running to get the bike working properly," said Denning.
"The biggest problem for both riders today was stability, which was not helped by the strong cross winds down the main straight, but our competitors didn't seem to have the same trouble at all."