Scott Redding conceded that his chances of securing a factory GP17 for next season are nearly over, after he dropped further behind Danilo Petrucci in the inter-team battle at a rainy Sepang.
Both team-mates are competing in a mini-championship, where the rider with the highest number of points scored from the Brno race onwards, for a full-factory machine almost identical to that ridden by Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso.
By the team's calculations, Redding was eleven points adrift before the penultimate race. His underwhelming showing on Sunday – he finished 15th to Petrucci's tenth – now leaves him 16 points behind his team-mate with one race to spare.
“I think it's done,” said the Englishman. “It ain't going to happen. I'll still try. You never know what can happen. But if it's a normal race I don't think I'd be able to gain enough points on Danilo. We tried our best.
“It's still not over but it's going to be tough unless something out of the blue happens, which I doubt will, because it's not really my sort of lucky. We'll see. It's still not a bad start to next year to have the bike we have. I have to accept that and look onto the future.”
Should he lose out to Petrucci, Redding will still have a GP16 for 2017 with the same level of factory support he has received during this campaign, a matter that led the Englishman to stress the importance of only looking forward.
“It's not a bad bike anyway. It's just I'll be in the same s**t next year in terms of development. That's why we struggle. Maybe if they developed the bike a bit more this year we could be a bit more competitive.
“Every time we come to a tricky condition we seem to struggle. From the half-way point in the season until the end that's how it's been, that's how it'll always be [for a satellite team].
“Hopefully they haven't taken too much of a big step with the new bike but I'm guessing they have. With Jorge coming they'll make changes for his riding style. But who knows. Maybe the '16 might suit me more than next year's bike. We can't change it, we have to look forward.”
Speaking of the race, Redding was never able to find a degree of rear grip in wet conditions with Michelin's harder option rear tyre. The omens, he said, didn't look good from the warm-up lap.
“It was the same s**t. I nearly crashed twice on the warm-up lap. We had no pace whatsoever. We just had no rear grip. It felt like the tyre was two steps harder than everyone else.
"I was trying to hang in, but I was getting more and more loose. It was letting go. Every time I tried, I just couldn't go anywhere. It wasn't spinning on the spot, just on the edge, it would start. Then it wouldn't recover and I had not confidence to open the gas.
“It was hard to come here on the back foot. I didn't need a situation like this. I needed it to be dry and have a good race. Unfortunately the weather turned this way and we didn't have a good feeling in the rain. That's about all I've got to say.
“When you look at the rear tyre it looks brand new. The tyre is far too hard. We expected it to dry up a little more but then the other guys are using the hard tyre as well. I can't say it's just the tyre because other guys were still performing with it.
“Normally in the rain we're not too bad but these conditions are strange. They're greasy. I don't know if I need to ride more in these conditions to improve, I don't know. In the end it doesn't give me the confidence to make the steps that I need.
“It's just that it dries up so quick. That was the doubt. After what f**ked me in Brno it makes you think twice. I know not many went with the soft tyre. I didn't expect to struggle that much. I just had nothing on the edge of the tyre.
“When Marc [Marquez] crashed he got back on and passed me. The lean angle he was carrying, the drive he had was incredible. I saw him, thought, 'I'll try that'. Then the front folded and the rear came round. There you go. I can't even attempt that.”