Valentino Rossi says he and Ducati were aware they had a special chance to finish on the podium at Le Mans given the race's wet conditions.
Rossi, who said after qualifying that he was hoping for a wet race, explained that he rode at the maximum under the knowledge that the GP12 could fare better in the adverse conditions than it would have in the dry.
"I'm so happy, this result is so important for us," Rossi said following his second-place finish, his best MotoGP result with Ducati. "I know we have a better chance in these conditions for the podium so I tried to ride in a better way to stay concentrated. We knew we had a special chance for [a top three], so it was very important to ride at the maximum."
The seven-time champion explained he dropped back in the early stages of the race – when he was passed by Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso – due to his visor fogging up, but was able to start pushing again once it had cleared.
"I was behind [Casey] Stoner and I could keep up with him, but then my visor steamed up because we are using a new helmet," he told Italia1. "I managed to open it and little by little air came through: when I was again able to see I started pushed again and overtook the two Yamahas. I saw I was going quick and that I was closing up to Stoner, but Cal and Dovizioso came with me so I had to push at the maximum.
"Then I arrived with Stoner and it was a great battle as always. I'm happy for myself, for all the Ducati boys who work for me and my team. We needed this. Now let's hope we can be more competitive in the dry too."