Valentino Rossi admitted that he decided to settle for a safe second place in Qatar after realising that Casey Stoner was uncatchable.
The Ducati rider made an early break while Rossi fought back up to second having lost out to Loris Capirossi and Jorge Lorenzo at the start. Although Rossi initially reduced Stoner's two-second lead, the Australian was able to pull away later on and ultimately won by nearly eight seconds.
"It's a shame. We lost too much on the first lap, while Stoner was very good," Rossi told Italia1 television.
"But after that I was making up the gap, and maybe I could have caught him, but after yesterday's rain the asphalt became a bit more aggressive, and I had some small problems with the front tyre, so at one point I had to decide whether I should crash or give up.
"So I thought a bit, and since we knew we were a bit on the limit, I gave up. Well done to Stoner, he was quick and he deserved the win. In any case we're second, we've demonstrated that we can go quick, so see you at Motegi."
Rossi reckoned he would have been in better shape to attack Stoner had the race gone ahead as planned on Sunday night.
"More than strategy, Stoner and I have a different way to approach the race, the way we do practice and the way we set up the bike," he said.
"Probably it would have been better had we raced last night because we were in better shape and we were closer. While after yesterday's rain the asphalt was a bit more aggressive, and this morning we already had some small problems with the tyres.
"Unfortunately I lost a bit too much time with Loris and Lorenzo, while Stoner went super quick from the start and built a big gap. But then we had five, six or seven laps when I enjoyed myself because I was going very quick and I was feeling well. I managed to get under two seconds and the race was still long then.
"However after that I started having a few problems too many, so I had to decide whether to crash or to finish second. I thought about that for half a lap and I decided it was better to finish second."
Rossi pointed out that Stoner was always likely to be tough to beat at Losail, having dominated at the circuit for the past three seasons.
"Stoner has always gone very quick here and he's won here for the last three years, so this is a track where he can give his maximum," he said.
"We are quick, we are fairly sorted, we can do better, so I'll see you in two weeks' time in Motegi. Last year I was very very quick there, so let's see if I can do it this year too."