Jorge Lorenzo admits he occasionally felt helpless competing against Honda and rookie Marc Marquez during his title-defending 2013 MotoGP campaign.
The Yamaha rider said his collarbone injuries, coupled with Honda's superiority in previous races, meant victory was a lost cause even when he was riding at his best.
And while that situation has been reversed by his return to fitness and Yamaha's upgrades – specifically its introduction of a seamless gearbox – Lorenzo concedes it is highly unlikely he will be able to prevent Marquez claiming a historic rookie championship crown.
"I have been very unlucky this year because I've broken my collarbone in the only two times I have crashed," Lorenzo said. "Dani has also been unlucky: he crashed twice and also broke his collarbone. However Marc has crashed nine or 10 times and only broke a finger which is like breaking a nail; it is nothing.
"Sometimes I have felt helpless because I have been riding at my best and it is still not enough."
Lorenzo also cautioned that while Marquez has impressed, the Honda's man title celebrations would also owe something to his and Pedrosa's midseason injuries.
"I was also very fast in my first races as a rookie but then the bad results arrived, and the crashes and my season was not consistent," he explained. "[Marc] is being very consistent but I also think he has been lucky because of our mistakes.
"Before my crash at Assen he was 30 points behind Pedrosa, but when the races where Dani and I were injured were over, he was already leader."