Jorge Lorenzo admitted that he would have been "so happy" to simply finish third in the German Grand Prix, before Casey Stoner's dramatic last-lap crash handed him second and with it the championship lead.
Lorenzo was facing a deficit of at least four points to Stoner with just two corners to run, only for Stoner to fall and promote the Spaniard into a lead of 14 points over victor Dani Pedrosa.
After his heartbreak in the Dutch TT, Lorenzo admitted Stoner's crash was a welcome slice of luck in a race in which Honda was "impossible to beat."
"Things can change completely in one race," Lorenzo said. "In Holland we had a 25 point advantage then suddenly zero, one engine less and we were very disappointed.
"Then today we had some luck from Casey's unfortunate crash. I would have been so happy to have finished in third position because today the bike and the rear tyre was not so good, so this was a bit of luck.
"The Sachsenring is not one of my best tracks, I've never been very competitive. It's been a difficult weekend in general, but today the Hondas were impossible to beat so we've been lucky.
"I would have preferred not to crash in Assen and for Casey not to crash here but that is racing sometimes.
"Now we are leading the championship, and I am just happy to have some points as an advantage."
Lorenzo's Yamaha team-mate Ben Spies meanwhile said he was frustrated by his fifth-place finish, which he felt was not equal to his ultimate potential.
"It was a frustrating race, but I guess we have to be happy with a top five. We had a lot more potential but we did the best we could with the set up we had," he reported.
"We didn't have enough edge grip and acceleration so I had to sit behind [Andrea] Dovizioso and Cal [Crutchlow] and wait. I could see Cal was getting a little impatient and wanting to pass Dovi so I was hoping he would and maybe clear a spot for me to get by.
"I had a good pace but not enough to out-brake them so I had to play a waiting game."