A set-up change to Dani Pedrosa's Repsol Honda proved a backward step in Sunday's San Marino MotoGP, but the Spaniard was still able to finish second after overtaking slowing team-mate Casey Stoner.
Pedrosa had looked capable of matching Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo
for pure pace after all three qualified within 0.180sec. But the pair pulled steadily away from Pedrosa in the race, until a 'worn out' Stoner began losing ground.
Pedrosa overtook his team-mate with six laps to go to claim his second runner-up finish in as many weeks.
"I'm a little disappointed with the race because the bike didn't feel as good as it was in practice. We wanted to make a change to the suspension to improve it a little but we had the opposite effect, sometimes it happens," said Pedrosa.
"From the first lap, I realised I couldn't keep up with Jorge and Casey, at the beginning the bike was closing the front and then it was sliding in the rear. The second part of the race was good, Jorge had a perfect race today, but I was able improve my times lap by lap and catch Casey.
"I overtook him and maintained my rhythm to the finish with another second place in two weeks, which it's not so bad. We've been lucky today as it was cooler than yesterday and finally the rain didn't come."
Pedrosa revealed Stoner isn't the only rider looking forward to the two-week break before Aragon.
"It's been two very demanding races in a row and this one in particular was perhaps the toughest of the season so far, as the circuit is challenging with so many hard braking areas and it has been very hot again, also after Indy it has been difficult to recover from the jet lag and fatigue," said Pedrosa.
"Let's hope we can get some rest and be stronger for Aragon".
Pedrosa, who missed three races through injury, remains fourth in the championship, 15 points ahead of Ben Spies and 35 behind team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.