Valentino Rossi edged a race-long battle with Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista to claim fourth in the Czech MotoGP at Brno, consolidating his position in the championship.
Rossi – who gained a place after Cal Crutchlow's spill on the eighth lap – had no answer to the top three of Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa
and Jorge Lorenzo, but remains fourth in the championship standings on 143 points, six behind team-mate Lorenzo.
The nine-time world champion conceded afterwards that the leading trio were 'impressive' and vowed not to give up as he strives to bridge the gap to the main championship protagonists.
“Today was better than Indy, especially because my disadvantage to the top is half. I wanted to do better; we have to try to do better,” said Rossi.
“The first three guys are impressive, very strong; I want to stay closer to them. Unfortunately I was ten seconds back, another fourth place but I want to be closer so we have to work.
“We tried to improve this type of setting in the last two races but it looks like it's not fantastic,” he added.
“Also today I suffered a bit too much at the beginning of the race. We won't give up and we will try next week to make a better job.”