Valentino Rossi was left lamenting a lack of feeling on his second bike that left him powerless to stop MotoGP rival Marc Marquez romping to victory in Argentina.
With the weekend's tyre drama causing the Termas de Rio Hondo race to be split in two parts by a mandatory bike swap, Rossi's race ended up being one of two halves.
In the opening phase, he had the pace to keep up with Marquez, and made his pitstop right on the Spaniard's tail after battling hard for several laps.
But Rossi said he simply couldn't replicate his early pace on the second bike, allowing Marquez to escape and bringing the Yamaha rider into a fierce duel for the runner-up spot.
“In the end it was a shame, because in the first part I was a lot stronger, so I thought I could fight for the win," said Rossi.
"For some reason on the second bike, with the second set of tyres, I don’t feel good, I had a lot of problem making the same pace.
"The conditions were very bad and I was never able to get into a rhythm, and in the end [Maverick] Vinales and the two Ducatis arrive [on my tail]."
"I thought the podium was over"
While Vinales crashed out before he was able to make a move on Rossi stick, factory Ducati duo Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso's both passed the nine-time champion late on.
"With a lap-and-a-half to go at Turn 5 I went very deep and both me and Iannone went wide, Dovizioso went past both of us and I thought the podium was over from me," he added.
"But at the last corner the Ducati riders go out [after hitting one another], so these 20 points are like gold for the championship."
Rossi also said he felt the race could have gone the full distance without the need for bike swapping, but said overnight rain was a bigger problem as the Yamaha struggled in low-grip conditions.
"For me we could have done the whole race without any problem, we could do 25 laps [on one set of tyres]," he said. "But for safety reasons, it’s ok like this.
"For me the bigger problem was the rain, because the track needed a lot of time to rubber in, and the rain made us start again like Friday [with low grip]."