Marco Simoncelli thinks he had no chance of finishing on the Aragon Grand Prix podium even if he had not made the error that dropped him back from third to fifth early in the race.
Gresini Honda rider Simoncelli came through from sixth to third in the opening laps, before running wide and falling behind the two works Yamahas.
He was later able to re-pass Ben Spies for fourth – but was convinced that Jorge Lorenzo would have beaten him to third whatever happened as the world champion's tires were in better shape.
"I am pleased with this result – we had to grit our teeth and I'm sure that even without the mistake I wouldn't have been challenging for the podium anyway," Simoncelli said. "Lorenzo was faster than me on used tires so no complaints there.
"I didn't get a great start but I managed to get into my rhythm quickly and make some passes to get up to third place. From the 10th lap onward the tires really dropped off and then again after another five laps, although Spies was in even worse shape than me so I was able to fight back to fourth."
Simoncelli's team boss Fausto Gresini agreed that fourth was the maximum the Italian was ever likely to achieve in the circumstances.
"It was a nice race if not an easy one because as we expected the degradation in the tires proved to be a real problem for Marco," Gresini said. "Anyway, fourth place was very well deserved and thankfully the mistake he made did not prove to be costly.
"A podium would have been a huge ask today so we're happy to repeat fourth from Misano and I think we can have a strong finish to the season."