Jorge Lorenzo could not believe he had been unable to recover to second place in the Italian Grand Prix after crashing on the way to the grid and then squandering pole position with a poor start.
The Yamaha rider fell as he tried to acclimatise to the wet tyres on his reconnaissance lap prior to the race, but was able to get the bike moving again and return to the pits in time to take his spare for the start - leaving the team to repair his original machine ready for the mid-race pitstops.
He then tumbled outside the top ten after getting too much wheelspin off the line, yet managed to come back through the field and finish just a second behind winner and title rival Casey Stoner, and to beat his team-mate Valentino Rossi on home ground in the process.
"I'm more happy than if I'd taken victory," Lorenzo said. "This is the truth. After the warm-up I was so worried because I didn't have the pace in the wet.
"But I was even more worried after my crash on the warm-up lap... At the start I had some problems with the spinning at the rear. Everybody overtook me and I was almost last.
"But after that the race was like a dream or a film."
His fourth podium from five races this year puts Lorenzo second in the standings on 86 points, five behind new leader Stoner.