Marc Marquez's first wet race in the premier-class proved a memorable experience as the Repsol Honda rookie mounted a thrilling second-half charge to claim the final podium place at Le Mans.
Marquez had qualified on pole in the dry, but his inexperience in the wet proved a handicap from the start - literally - with excessive wheel spin leaving him eighth on the opening lap.
And there he remained for the first half of the grand prix, before suddenly gelling with the conditions and powering through the field.
“This podium is so important because it's my first race in the wet in MotoGP and as you saw, especially in the beginning, I nearly crashed at every corner!” he said. “Also it was my first wet race start in MotoGP. I did a big mistake and I had too much spin!
“But in the end I got the same feeling as the warm-up and came back through the field.”
Marquez overtook Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso for third on the penultimate lap and looked to have the pace to potentially snatch second from Cal Crutchlow.
“The race in the end was too short. I wanted more laps because I was doing a very good job,” said Marquez. “On the last lap I saw Cal was there just ahead but I thought after this race third is enough because during the race I was so far from the podium.”
Despite the impressive result, Marquez has now lost the world championship lead to team-mate and Le Mans winner Dani Pedrosa.
“I lose the lead, but you know the most important is that I'm only six points behind Dani. We didn't expect that and it wasn't the goal,” he said. “Mugello and Barcelona will be important because those circuits are so difficult. We need to concentrate more than now.”
Marquez is the only rider to have finished on the podium in all four rounds so far this year, including his victory in Texas.