Marc Marquez was happy to settle for a place on the Spanish Grand Prix podium after conceding Valentino Rossi was too quick for him to catch.
The two-time MotoGP champion recovered well from a stuttering start in Jerez but finding a way past Rossi's Movistar Yamaha proved difficult.
Marquez struggled to keep his tyres fresh as the temperatures soared and as a result concentrated on claiming 16 points from the race to keep a cushion at the top of the riders' standings.
"Today Valentino was on another level, like I was in Austin, and the most important thing is that today we accepted finishing third in the race," said the Repsol Honda rider.
"I learned a lot from last year and I didn't want to make a mistake.
"I was very focused from the start and I tried to ride strongly and stay with Jorge, but I could tell that with the higher track temperatures - 11c higher than yesterday - it was very difficult for me to manage the front tyre well.
"I almost crashed several times, so in the end I made a difficult decision in front of our fans, as we preferred to secure 16 points that will be very positive at the end of the season, which is very long.
"We must have patience until we take a step further with the bike's acceleration and find something else that allows us to fight for the win."