Jorge Lorenzo said he put everything he had into his ride to second place in the Qatar Grand Prix, as the world champion defied expectations that Yamaha would struggle in the 2011 opener.
Lorenzo himself had been pessimistic about his chances a week ago, having been unable to match the dominant Hondas in pre-season testing, when a lack of straightline performance proved a particularly costly issue for Yamaha.
But he was pleased to qualify as high as third yesterday, and was then able to take the fight to the Hondas in the race - briefly leading, eventually beating Dani Pedrosa to second and finishing within four seconds of victor Casey Stoner.
"So many people forgot about us for this race, but we believed in ourselves every day better and better," said Lorenzo.
"Today I put everything I had on the track. I didn't save anything. I was at the limit in every corner in every lap."
He admitted he was lucky to stay upright when he made a mistake late in the race, and reckoned that without this error he might have been able to challenge Stoner.
"I almost crashed. When you go like this, it's very easy to crash," said Lorenzo.
"I saved the crash, I don't know how, but I could stay on the track.
"Maybe without this I could have tried to catch Casey, but really he was very, very fast today."