Marc Marquez admits that his soft compound front tyre was "completely destroyed" after he raced to his fourth successive MotoGP victory at the Circuit of the Americas.
The Spaniard, who continued his perfect premier class record Stateside with a dominant second win of the season, went against the majority of his main rivals by choosing to use the soft front Michelin.
Speaking after the race, Marquez revealed that Michelin was instrumental in his choice - and said that as a result, he pushed hard during the opening laps to build a gap as he wasn't certain how long the rubber would last.
"During warm-up I tried a different front tyre [the medium], the same as everybody was using, but I didn’t feel good," said Marquez.
"I want to thank the Michelin guys because they helped me to make the decision [to use the soft]. Until lap 12 the tyre was perfect but after the race it was completely destroyed.
"I knew it would be on the limit, but I try to use this potential in beginning of the race, try to open this gap.
"I kept pushing during all the laps because I didn't know when the drop would arrive. When there were five laps to go, I start to feel a big close feeling at the front."
Marquez's victory means he now has 21 points in hand over closest rival Jorge Lorenzo, who finished second at COTA, in the championship, with Valentino Rossi a further 12 back after crashing out.
Dani Pedrosa also failed to finish, having lost his bike and collected Andrea Dovizioso in the process.
"The team didn't tell me [that Rossi crashed]," said Marquez. "I say to them I just want to know the distance with the second guy [on the pitboard].
"[I saw] just the distance with the second guy, that in the beginning was Dovi, then Jorge - and then I saw that the distance increase step-by-step.
"When I arrive in parc ferme they say to me that Pedrosa crashed with Dovi, then Valentino."
He added: “Of course I’m happy with this advantage that we have. Okay, it’s only the third race, but we already have 21 points so this is really important for me and the team.
"The other riders make a few mistakes, but you must be there – and now in Europe we will see, because Jorge will be really strong.
"But we will try to manage the well this distance in the championship, and see which circuits we can be fast and which ones we need to take points.”