Valentino Rossi achieved his goal of sticking with the all-powerful Ducatis for much of Sunday's Austrian MotoGP.

But so did his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

And it would be the Spaniard who finished as the top Yamaha, completing the podium after beating Rossi to third place by just 0.4s.

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"To arrive three seconds from the Ducati is a great result. We worked well and were quite competitive at a track that is not fantastic for our bike. But I'm not happy with fourth place, because my target was to arrive on the podium," Rossi said.

"The great shame personally is that Lorenzo arrived in front and also that we don't fight. I want to try to make some overtake and fight for the podium, but it was difficult in braking and also on the exit of the corners.

"So the situation for me personally was not 100% under control. I had to risk too much. Every time I tried to get closer, I made some mistakes and at the end I finish just fourth."

Rossi revealed that they had made some pre-race changes to the balance of his M1 to try and help rear tyre endurance. But it left him "in a bit of trouble in braking, because I lock the front.

"A lot of times I tried to attack but I can't stop and risk too much. Also being close behind three bikes I had a problem with the temperature of the brakes. So the performance of the brakes was not 100%, but the bigger problem was the grip on the front.

"At the end the race was not very fast, also because the Ducatis 'play' in the first ten laps, I think to save tyres and fuel because they have a good [performance] margin.

"So we stay always there, but every time they push a little bit they have a small advantage. It is a shame because I want to fight with my team-mate, but it was always a little bit too far."

With insight, the nine-time world champion thinks the soft rather than medium front tyre might have helped his braking problems.

Meanwhile, with injured title leader Marc Marquez finishing fifth, both Lorenzo and Rossi made small gains on Sunday. However they still sit 43 and 57-points respectively behind the Honda rider heading to Brno next weekend.

Was it any consolation to have beaten Marquez by seven-seconds in the race?

"I am very happy because I recover two points, so if we have 100 races maybe I can win the championship!" Rossi laughed. "Apart from the joke, it is good to arrive in front of Marquez and we have to try to continue like this.

"For sure in other tracks the situation will change, but we have to try to stay always fast and take as many points as possible. It is difficult to gain a lot of points on Marquez, but the championship is very long so we have to try the maximum.

"Now we will try to be stronger and faster next weekend in Brno."

Rossi was also asked to clear-up how he had been able to turn a one-second per lap disadvantage to Iannone at last month's test, into just 3.8s disadvantage at the end of a 28-lap race.

"Sincerely, in the test I tried to work more for the race pace and it depends on the motivation you have to risk a lot to make one fast lap time, for nothing. I'm too old for these things!" he joked.

By Peter McLaren