MotoGP points leader and clear title favourite Jorge Lorenzo has admitted that it was "impossible" for him to beat Honda's Dani Pedrosa in today's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.
The Yamaha star, who is now expected to win the title due to the absence of superstar team-mate Valentino Rossi, was visibly shocked after the race by his lack of pace compared to Pedrosa, who had previously struggled for form this year.
Lorenzo finished a distant second after battling with Pedrosa's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.
"I was very surprised because I wanted to fight for victory today, [I'd] had very good pace all weekend," said Lorenzo. "In the race I couldn't make more than [a laptime of] 1m50.4s. With this time, Dani [who lapped consistently in the 1:49s] was impossible to beat."
Lorenzo, who wore a Rossi t-shirt on the podium, sent his best wishes to his injured team-mate, who faces a long recovery period on the sidelines after breaking his leg in practice yesterday.
"I wanted to win to give the victory to Vale, but second is okay, and want to dedicate this position to him," he added.