Jorge Lorenzo saw any chance of overhauling team-mate Valentino Rossi for second in the world championship disappear when he was beaten by the Italian in Sunday's Malaysian MotoGP.
The Movistar Yamaha riders finished second and third, behind race winner Andrea Dovizioso in the wet Sepang race, leaving Lorenzo 28-points from Rossi with only 25 still available at the Valencia finale.
Even if Lorenzo wins the last round, 2016 will be his lowest points scoring season since his rookie 2008 campaign. Lorenzo began the season with three wins and two second places in the opening six rounds, but it all went downhill from Catalunya.
"Very good at the beginning, we start in the best way, finishing first in Qatar and second in Austin. Just [the crash in] Argentina was the only negative race. So was almost perfect until Montmelo."
Catalunya was where Lorenzo struggled for grip and was eventually punted out of the race by Andrea Iannone. Then came a succession of difficulties in cold and damp conditions.
"Everything went wrong from Montmelo, especially with cold and rain conditions. I didn't feel great with the front tyre especially. So it has been hard to be constant like normally I am. And I struggled to find good balance, good confidence with these tyres.
"Luckily in the future Michelin will get experience of this year to make the better tyres, or tyres more adapted to every track, and for sure, every rider will have less problems to be more competitive and can avoid some crashes.
"But anyway, taking some experience from this year for the future will be important, because this year, being honest, I made too many mistakes, and like this, you cannot fight for the championship."
Lorenzo remained mistake free in Sunday's malaysian race, but admitted his podium finish - some eight-seconds behind Rossi - owed much to the mistakes of others; Marc Marquez, Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Iannone all falling ahead of him.
"It's true, I stayed on the bike, even though it didn't feel very good today. I felt worse than in qualifying with a little bit more water on the track. But stayed on the bike and I've been lucky because all the crashes were in front of me this time, and this gave me the opportunity to pass from sixth to third.
"To have this podium in the rain is good for the confidence in these conditions. So a good result, maybe not spectacular race, but you know, it's important to get another podium in my career."
Lorenzo now has one final race left for Yamaha before switching to Ducati, a team that has now won two races this season with Andrea Iannone (Austria) and Dovizioso.
"Obviously the [Ducati] is progressing every year, being competitive more times in more tracks than the past, so that's a good sign," he said. "This victory doesn't surprise me, because Andrea has always been one of the best rain riders, and even when it was not competitive in the dry, the Ducati was in the wet.
"So finally, this combination works very well today. And he and they deserve the victory. For sure, it's a good sign to see every time more Ducatis in the front at most of the tracks."
By Peter McLaren