Valentino Rossi said he was more than satisfied with third place at Jerez, on a day when he was both lacking pace and struggling for fitness due to his shoulder injury.
A motocross accident last month left Rossi in discomfort during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, and he had not been an absolute frontrunner in practice. But he jumped from fourth on the grid to second at the start of the race, and held on to third even though he was passed by his Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo late on.
"We knew it was not our race because of the injury, and also in practice we struggled a lot with the settings," said Rossi. "So this podium is a good result and good points for the championship.
"I made the best I could of it because I had a good start and tried to stay with Dani, but I didn't have enough pace. I didn't make any particular mistakes, I always pushed a lot, but today we were not at 100 per cent. We need to work better during practice. These 16 points are not so bad anyway."
With Lorenzo going on to snatch victory from Dani Pedrosa, Yamaha's Spanish rider now leads the championship by four points over Rossi.
The reigning champion also paid tribute to the doctors who had made sure he was fit enough to race in Spain.
"I have to say thank you to the Mobile Clinic and Dr [Claudio] Costa and all the guys who helped me when I was at home to improve the condition of my shoulder," Rossi said.