Jorge Lorenzo praised Spanish rival Dani Pedrosa after the reigning world champion saw his 100 per cent MotoGP victory record in Estoril broken yesterday.
The factory Yamaha rider led for 25-laps despite coming under severe pressure from Pedrosa throughout and looked a strong candidate to win for the fourth year in a row in Portugal.
But as soon as the Repsol Honda pounced, Lorenzo had no response and he was easily beaten by just over three seconds.
The triple world champion said: “I tried to ride at 100 per cent and tried to ride smooth and perfect. But I didn’t have the same good feeling with the bike that I did in 2009 and 2010. The lap times were much slower and my feeling on the bike was not the same
"I made 37.8 for a couple of laps, but Dani was still behind and following me. Maybe he was fresher physically, because I put all the effort to be in the front, so when he overtook and he made 37.6
"I saw it was impossible to win this race and I just stayed calm and finish. I guess Dani was very comfortable or a little comfortable behind me, because I always saw plus zero, plus zero on my board. Normally my pace is consistent and I can open a little gap, but this race was not the case.
"I didn't race so fast and it was not enough to win. But Dani deserves this victory 100 per cent because he was faster at the end of the race, and normally it's the opposite.
"I'm happy because at the start of the championship everybody and even us didn’t expect to get a second, first and second place in the first three races and this is really good for the championship.”
Lorenzo’s lead in the standings though was slashed to just four points going to the next race in Le Mans.