Jorge Lorenzo was quick to congratulate his Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi on winning a seventh premier class world championship at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Spaniard, who needed to win to stand even a slim chance of taking the battle to a final-round decider, could do no better than fourth in a wet race, meaning that Rossi won the championship with a round to spare.
"I want to congratulate Valentino, because this year he has just beaten me, simple. He is just a winner," said Lorenzo. "Next year, maybe I will beat him."
Lorenzo was delighted with his ride to fourth, having started from the back of the field after he failed to make onto the grid before the pitlane had closed. He overtook front-row starter Rossi halfway round the opening lap, and fought his way up to fourth inside the first third of the race. But he lost out to Rossi on lap eight and stayed behind his teammate for the rest of the race, as a drying line began to appear.
"It was a fantastic race for me, because I started in the last position on the grid, so I had to overtake some other riders to be on the top," he added. "At the beginning of the racer I felt great on the bike, but after a few laps I felt there was no grip at the year and I was sliding a lot."
Lorenzo's fourth place means that he still needs a points finish at the final race of the season at Valencia to secure second place in the championship from race winner Casey Stoner.