Valentino Rossi said he accepted that his dominant run at Mugello would have to end eventually, after taking only third place in the Italian Grand Prix today.
The reigning world champion had his sights on an incredible eighth consecutive win in the race, but was unable to fight for the lead in the dry half of the race, which had begun on a wet track.
He looked like he might even finish as low as fifth going into the closing stages, before late passes on Loris Capirossi and Andrea Dovizioso brought him up to third behind his main title rivals Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo.
"After seven wins in a row it's a pity, but it's a normal situation," said Rossi.
"It was quite a difficult weekend, especially in the race - which was crazy and incredible. Anyway, the podium is better than nothing."
Rossi, who crashed after making a premature switch to slicks in similar conditions at Le Mans two weeks ago, has often had bad results in races affected by changeable weather and insisted he was relatively satisfied with a podium in the circumstances.
"I've always have bad luck in this type of race in the past, so to arrive on the podium here in front of all the Italian fans is a good result," said the Yamaha rider.
"I was very, very strong in the wet, but in the dry we had some problems. I was not as fast as I wanted."
The result means Rossi slips to third in the standings on 81 points, nine behind new leader Stoner, and five behind Lorenzo.
"The classification in the championship is very tight, so let's see what happens at Barcelona," said Rossi.