Jorge Lorenzo may have lost the race and 2012 MotoGP World Championship lead to Casey Stoner on Sunday at Estoril, but the Yamaha star felt he'd done better than expected.
Starting fourth on the grid, Lorenzo exited the first turn second to Stoner - but had fried his clutch, helping Stoner build an early advantage before the slipping stopped.
Lorenzo then closed to within a few tenths of the Honda rider, but couldn't make a pass. Stoner pulled away in the closing laps to win by 1.4sec.
“I'm happy with this second position because I was expecting to fight for third or fourth and not the victory,” said Lorenzo. “The bike improved a lot from the practices so it was possible.
“I had two problems, at the start I used a lot of clutch and burnt it so for two or three laps it was burning and I lost a lot of distance from Casey. Also at the end Casey was very strong.
“[Apart from] this everything was working well and I made a fastest lap, which is not very common for me.
“We are just one point behind Casey, hopefully we can improve something on the bike tomorrow and be in front again,” he added, referring to Monday's test at the Estoril circuit.
"Jorge did a really great job and pushed really hard. He never gave Casey room to breathe and he couldn't do more than that. This is the right attitude to get the title," said team director Massimo Meregalli.
Round four of the championship will be held at Le Mans from May 18-20