In the end, Marc Marquez was thankful to walk away from Misano having only lost seven points in the title fight, after the championship leader was “unable to find the best compromise” with set-up and Michelin's front tyre.
The championship leader came home a distant fourth in a race won brilliantly by Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa – just the second occasion in 2016 Marquez had placed behind his fellow Catalan.
But rather than cutting a frustrated figure at crossing the line 9.5 seconds in arrears of the best Honda, Marquez was thankful for Pedrosa's resurgence, which ultimately limited the damage in the title fight.
Along with the Suzuki pairing of Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaro, Marquez was the only rider to select Michelin's hard option front tyre. That selection was not the reason for this result, explained the 23-year old.
Instead, Marquez explained how he had run the same pace as FP4, when only Rossi had appeared stronger.
“Today we can say that about the tyres I chose the best option for me. Okay, it was a completely different choice to the others, but the main problem during the weekend - and the race – is with the new tyre Michelin bring here for me I was not able to use. I was struggling a lot. I didn't find the best feeling during all weekend so the tyre was the correct option for me.
“But for some reason my rhythm was really similar to FP4 but the others were able to be even faster, especially Dani. So yeah we didn't make the best race.
“In one part of the race I was very strong. I caught Jorge and was closer to Valentino. But then I start to feel that if I continue in this way, with this riding style, there was more possibility to crash than finish on the podium.
“So then I just wait there in fourth place and I was pushing for Dani of course to win the race, because then Valentino would take less points.
“Basically the tyre just I wasn't able to find the best compromise, especially with the brakes on banking. I was moving, I didn't feel the limit of the tyre. Then turning also was slower, but with the standard carcass - the standard [hard] tyre - of Michelin I was able to be fast in practice. I cannot say more because today I was able to ride as I did in FP4, but I wasn't able to ride faster than the others."
In the wake of Pedrosa's win, Marquez was asked whether HRC had made further inroads with electronics. Again, he played down the gains, saying any advancements were marginal.
“Every time we are working more and more and we are trying to find the best compromise. But it's true that the other Hondas did a smaller step, but I continue more or less with the same problems like in the first part of the season.
“But on acceleration I feel that we improve a little bit. Not enough of course. But a little bit. Before I came to this race I expect to lose a lot of points here and I lose only seven, so this is the most important thing.”
Keeping in mind Movistar Yamaha's Rossi and Lorenzo's stellar record in Misano, Marquez had earmarked the Adriatic circuit as a potential banana skin.
While finishing off the podium is never to Marquez's liking, limiting the damage in the title fight was nonetheless crucial to his feeling at the end of the race weekend.
“Of course I would like to increase the advantage! But in Silverstone we did a mistake there - it was more my mistake. Here I did my 100% and as I say, this was one of the circuits on the calendar where I thought I would lose more points. And we lose only six. So I'm really happy about this, even if the result - I expected to be on the podium, but it was not possible.
“Now we go to Aragon which is a better circuit for my riding style. So of course if I say this I put pressure on myself, but I feel that there we can take a better result.”