Valentino Rossi admitted that he did not have the pace to challenge Jorge Lorenzo once the track dried fully at Estoril.
With the whole field having to take a stab in the dark with their dry setups due to the rain that had affected all of practice, caused qualifying to be canceled, and lingered into the warm-up, Rossi found that his Yamaha worked well in the slightly treacherous early laps, but struggled for pace once the final damp patches disappeared.
"At the beginning, it was difficult because we'd never tried it in the dry, so I took some risks on the first laps on the wet patches because I felt confident with the bike, and I was able to have good pace and stay in front with a good advantage," said Rossi, who worked his way into an early 1.8sec lead before being caught and passed by teammate Lorenzo.
"But, unfortunately, when the track became better, Jorge had better pace than me.
"I tried to change lines and do something to improve my pace. I stayed with him for two or three laps and I pushed a lot. But he was faster than me so I had to give up."
Rossi was still satisfied with second, both because he had struggled to a distant fourth at Estoril last year, and because the result gave him a shot at taking the runnerup spot in the championship, though Dani Pedrosa is still 19 points ahead.
"Anyway it's a good result for me because last year was a bad, bad race," said Rossi.
"We made a good improvement in the setting. We needed something more but it was a strange situation because we never had time to improve the bike.
"But this second place is also important for the championship because at the last race I can try to take Dani."