Dani Pedrosa was helpless to prevent the Fiat Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo riding into the distance during Sunday's Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno.
The Repsol Honda rider, who briefly led at turn one of the race, went on to set the third fastest lap - half a second slower than Lorenzo and Rossi, but 0.7sec quicker than next best Toni Elias.
With Lorenzo crashing out of the lead with five of the 22 laps to go, Pedrosa was suddenly promoted to second position, which he claimed by crossing the line a lonely 11.766sec behind Rossi and 8.99sec ahead of Gresini Honda rider Elias.
“It's a very good second place but unfortunately I couldn't be as fast as the Yamahas,” said the 2009 US GP winner. “At the beginning I tried to stay with them but every lap they went faster. I couldn't keep the pace and then I was alone in third, just focussing on my riding.
“It was not a great feeling, but anyway I think the test tomorrow will be a very important day,” he continued. “I will try to improve all the areas where I am not so fast now so I can be stronger at the next races. We will have some new items to try and I hope I can take advantage.”
With second in the championship Lorenzo failing to score and third in the points Casey Stoner absent, Pedrosa is now within 27 points of second position. Most significantly, he is also fit again, after a season dogged by injuries.
“It's great feeling to be fit again. Here it is hot and a long race track. You need to be fit, and at the end of the race I was not tired,” he declared.
Brno marked Pedrosa's sixth podium of the season. Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso finished fourth.