MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo felt he achieved the maximum possible with third place in Sunday's Aragon Grand Prix.
The Yamaha rider hadn't looked comfortable for most of the weekend, which was dominated by the Repsol Hondas of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa.
Championship leader Stoner duly won by a massive eight seconds from Pedrosa, while Lorenzo fought his way from fifth to third, overtaking team-mate Ben Spies for the final podium position on lap 14 of 23.
Lorenzo is now 44 points behind Stoner with just four races remaining.
“We struggled a lot from the beginning of the race, losing positions and having to recover step by step. We couldn't get more than a podium; that is the best result we could get today," said Lorenzo.
"I didn't have confidence in the rear and it is impossible to catch Dani on this track. It's a pity, but at least I got the podium I couldn't get last year. We are still fighting for the Championship and that's the most important thing, we are going to Japan with hope still alive."
“For Jorge P3 was maximum damage control so we are happy with the result today," added team manager Wilco Zeelenberg. "This morning we discussed that this was the maximum possible. Finally in the race he was going half a second faster than in qualifying which is pretty good so he must be happy to be on the podium."