Jorge Lorenzo reckoned fourth was the best result possible in the French Grand Prix after he sustained a finger injury in a crash in the warm-up at Le Mans.
The MotoGP champion fell early in the warm-up and severely damaged his Yamaha, though a huge effort by the team got it back into shape in time for the race.
Lorenzo had tough battles with Andrea Dovizioso, Valentino Rossi and Marco Simoncelli as he fought for a podium during the event, before a late error dropped him out of the battle for second and left him to finish fourth.
"I made a mistake in the warm-up because I pushed too much and the tires were so, so cold," Lorenzo told the official MotoGP website.
"I injured my finger on the right hand so I knew it was difficult to finish the race in a good pace in the end. I was tired and had pain in my hand, so the most I could do was finish the race in fourth position. It was a great result, looking at the weekend."
Although Yamaha has not been on Honda's pace in recent races – and was beaten by Rossi's Ducati as well today – Lorenzo said the fact he had managed to finish consistently near the front and established a 12-point championship lead left him optimistic for the races ahead.
"I'm motivated because we didn't expect to finish in the top four in all these races," he said. "We're leading the championship by 12 points from [Casey] Stoner. It's going to be hard, because we have to improve the bike a lot. But at least we are leading and have motivation."