Jorge Lorenzo admitted that he would have been "so happy" to simply finish third in the German Grand Prix, before Casey Stoner's dramatic last-lap crash handed him second and with it the championship lead.
Lorenzo was facing a deficit of at least four points to Stoner with just two corners to run, only for Stoner to fall and promote the Spaniard into a lead of 14 points over victor Dani Pedrosa.
After his heartbreak in the Dutch TT, Lorenzo admitted Stoner's crash was a welcome slice of luck in a race in which Honda was "impossible to beat."
"Things can change completely in one race," Lorenzo said. "In Holland we had a 25 point advantage then suddenly zero, one engine less and we were very disappointed. Then today we had some luck from Casey's unfortunate crash. I would have been so happy to have finished in third position because today the bike and the rear tire was not so good, so this was a bit of luck.
"The Sachsenring is not one of my best tracks, I've never been very competitive. It's been a difficult weekend in general, but today the Hondas were impossible to beat so we've been lucky. I would have preferred not to crash in Assen and for Casey not to crash here but that is racing sometimes. Now we are leading the championship, and I am just happy to have some points as an advantage."
Lorenzo's Yamaha teammate Ben Spies said he was frustrated by his fifth-place finish, which he felt was not equal to his ultimate potential.
"It was a frustrating race, but I guess we have to be happy with a top five. We had a lot more potential but we did the best we could with the set up we had," he reported. "We didn't have enough edge grip and acceleration so I had to sit behind [Andrea] Dovizioso and Cal [Crutchlow] and wait. I could see Cal was getting a little impatient and wanting to pass Dovi so I was hoping he would and maybe clear a spot for me to get by.
"I had a good pace but not enough to out-brake them so I had to play a waiting game."