Jorge Lorenzo was disappointed to miss out on the podium at Phillip Island on Sunday, despite prevailing in a thrilling race-long battle for fourth place.
Lorenzo started from second on the grid but slipped to fourth on lap one. The factory Yamaha rider then traded places with Tech 3 Yamaha rider James Toseland a couple of times before settling in behind the Briton, with team-mate Valentino Rossi closing fast.
By lap 13 of 27 Rossi had dispatched both his Yamaha compatriots and was off in pursuit of second placed Nicky Hayden, leaving a thrilling fight for fourth between Toseland, Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso and Shinya Nakano - the foursome trading passes at times more reminiscent of a 125cc race.
After struggling to overtake Toseland, Lorenzo finally overcame his fellow MotoGP rookie with three laps to go and then edged out a few vital tenths to secure the position - but felt he had little to be proud of.
"I'm not very happy with the race because I know I should have been able to fight for the podium today," said the Estoril winner. "I didn't ride like I know I can, Toseland was in front of me many times and I couldn't pass him, and then I couldn't follow Valentino when he came through. I think I had the rhythm to have been with Valentino but it didn't work today."
Lorenzo's fourth place, combined with seventh for Dovizioso, means that Jorge has now put one hand on the 2008 rookie of the year title - sitting 37 points clear of Dovi with just 50 points remaining.
But with third placed countryman Dani Pedrosa 27 points in front of Lorenzo, despite his Phillip Island DNF, the #48 admits his final championship position is unlikely to change in the final two rounds.
"Even though it's mathematically still possible, I think that third place in the championship is probably lost to me now," he said. "I think that the most important thing now is to get good results in Malaysia and Valencia so that we finish the season in the right way.
"The team, the tyres and the bike are all working well, we're getting good results but we know they can be better. I like Malaysia a lot, I rode there in the winter and I think it will be good for Michelin, so I'm looking forward to it."