Jorge Lorenzo said he had resigned himself to second place before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix because he already believed Valentino Rossi was unbeatable.
The Italian belied his pre-event pessimism by dominating every session and taking victory at Misano, extending his championship lead over Lorenzo back up to 30 points.
Lorenzo hoped after qualifying - where he had to settle for third - that he would be able to take the fight to Rossi in race trim, but after only managing sixth place in this morning's warm-up, the Spaniard realised victory was highly unlikely.
"After the warm-up I knew that it was going to be a difficult race," he said. "Today was a day to finish second I think, not to win, because Vale had the best pace all weekend. So I had to go for second position."
He briefly headed his team-mate on the opening lap as Rossi dropped back to fourth, but was unable to stay in front. Lorenzo also took longer than Rossi to get back past the fast-starting Pedrosa, and by the time he was ahead of the Honda his team-mate was out of reach.
"I did a not bad start," said Lorenzo. "I almost crashed at the second corner, because Dani went so fast and pushed me, but anyway I didn't crash and I wanted to be relaxed, to not really take risks.
"I had a great set-up of the bike and I could brake late. But it was quite difficult to pass Dani, because the Hondas have a lot of speed."