Casey Stoner says his victory at Laguna Seca will serve to remind his rivals what he is capable of after a short win drought.
The championship leader extended his points advantage back up to 20 points by overcoming title rival Jorge Lorenzo in today's United States Grand Prix, ending a run of three races without a victory since he triumphed at Silverstone.
"We felt good, really good, at the end," said Stoner. "I think people have forgotten about us a little bit over the last few weeks. We've definitely struggled, but for some reasons that we know. It's really good to come back with a race like this and show everybody that we can still win."
Stoner's fifth win of the year came despite him predicting after qualifying that he would struggle to be competitive in race trim. He credited a warm-up breakthrough for his improved form.
"To be honest, it was the most relaxed I've been before a race in a long time," said Stoner. "We've had a really difficult weekend, but this morning in the warm-up we found something and thought we could run with these guys. Yesterday we would have been pushing really, really hard just to stay there.
"At the start of the race I really struggled. I was patient, I was quiet, I knew that they weren't going to pull away and I still had something left. But at the beginning of the race I was really struggling to get the bike turning and get the drive that I needed.
"Lap by lap, when the fuel went out, it just got better and better. Towards the end of the race I sat back just a little bit, just enough to watch what was going on. But as soon as I knew that we needed to go, I knew that we had to up and catch them."
Stoner then caught and overtook first his Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa then Yamaha rider and polesitter Lorenzo to clinch the win.
"I saw Dani struggling a little bit and decided to go past him because we were losing time to Jorge," said Stoner. "Then once I caught Jorge, I wanted to stay behind to see what was going on. Then we knew we had some more pace than what Jorge was able to run and we decided to go to the front and see what happened."