Marc Marquez says he was surprised to finish on the podium at Le Mans after taking third in his first wet race in MotoGP.
The Spaniard, whose Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa usurped him at the top of the championship standings with victory, started the race on pole position but a poor start left him at the tail of the top 10 by the end of the first lap.
However, he fought through the field to maintain his record of finishing on the podium in each of the four grands prix so far.
"It was so difficult, especially in the beginning," he said. "I made a big mistake on the start and in the beginning I was trying too hard.
"Then I made many, many mistakes.
"I came back [but] I didn't expect to finish on the podium if I'm honest."
Marquez is now six points behind Pedrosa and said he was already thinking about the title fight as he closed in on the Tech 3 Yamaha of Cal Crutchlow, who finished second.
"On the last lap I saw Cal was there, but after that race, the podium was enough," he added.
"It was my first race in wet conditions and finishing here and starting the championship with four podiums in a row is quite important."