Jorge Lorenzo described his third place in the Austrian MotoGP as feeling like a victory as the Movistar Yamaha rider returned to the rostrum after two poor races.
Lorenzo had no answer to Ducati riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso at the Red Bull Ring, but said he had achieved his maximum possible result by claiming the last position on the rostrum ahead of team-mate Valentino Rossi.
“This third place is almost like a victory. When you have won many races like I have through my career, third place is not the same as a victory,” he said.
“But today, if nothing strange happened, third place was the maximum and I was really focused to try to do it. I pushed at the beginning, especially in the beginning and I was faster than Andrea Iannone, but I couldn't pass him. On braking when I was very close, he would brake a little bit later and I couldn't pass him to stay in the lead.
“I stayed calm, tried not to make any mistakes, but then Dovizioso passed me and they increased a little bit the pace. I couldn't keep the same, especially on the right because our tyre started to destroy. I had to concentrate to keep in the 1'25.0, 1'24.9 the whole race to avoid Rossi staying closer to me.”
Lorenzo said he never lost belief that he would rediscover his best form, with past experiences giving him reassurance that the results would come again after a barren run by the reigning world champion's standards.
“When I don't make good results, [people say] Lorenzo's in crisis. It happens many times and this is the sport, this is MotoGP and sometimes it can happen. You have to be patient and wait for your moment. We are working a lot and I understood again that I can fight for the win and be competitive,” Lorenzo said.
“I always believe in myself and many time I have had difficult moments in my career, but I always came back even stronger. I knew it was a question of time to do it and I just keep working and don't get down because it can be easy when you go to a race and finish with a bad result.
“It's easy to believe less in yourself but I kept believing I could do it because I knew from the past,” he added.
“We knew that the Ducatis were in another world and that our maximum position was third and finally we could fight with them for the victory. I'm very glad with the progression and with the effort and concentration I had in the race.”
Lorenzo, who will join Ducati alongside Dovizioso in 2017, says he remains completely focused on doing the best possible job he can for Yamaha before he turns his thoughts to the Desmosedici.
“This year I'm to finish as strong as possible my season with Yamaha because I want to thank them for this support all these years.
“I will be happy next year in the first months, or maybe in six or seven months when I jump on another bike. This will be the future and there is still a long way to the end and I want to finish in the best way with Yamaha, trying to fight for the championship this year,” he said.
“If it is not possible, then it is my goal to try to get many victories. In six or seven months or 12 months, ask me this question and hopefully I will be happy.”