Casey Stoner said his Honda simply did not have the pace to fight for victory in the British Grand Prix, and that it had just been a matter of trying to hang on when battling the Yamahas.
The reigning world champion fought with Ben Spies in the early part of Sunday's race before the American ran into tyre issues, and was ultimately beaten by Spies' charging team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.
Stoner said that even when dicing with Spies he had been having to go beyond his bike's limits.
"He had a pretty good pace, but in my opinion, too good a pace. We weren't comfortable," said Stoner. "We were having to push very hard, especially in the braking points, just to keep up with Ben.
"That was worrying me from the beginning. I didn't have any edge grip on the left and we just couldn't make any inroads on him. We started pushing in some areas that I wasn't really happy to push in, Ben made a small mistake and I slipped up the inside.
"From that moment on, for me, it was about braking as late as possible, just trying to hold everyone back, because we just didn't have the pace."
Stoner had a spectacular race with Lorenzo later on, but could not hold off his championship rival.
"We had a small battle with Jorge, he had a lot more mid-turn speed than us and a lot more grip," Stoner said. "I tried to get him back on each exit, but he could always keep it on around the outside and in the end he could go home to the victory.
"It was a bit disappointing for us that we had nothing to fight with, but we gave it one hell of a shot."
The Australian reckoned an issue with the tyre was central to Honda's problems at Silverstone. Bridgestone introduced a new specification front for Britain.
"For us, there seemed to be something wrong with the left-hand side of the tyre. Even from lap three or four, the tyre just seemed to drop away so quickly, we had nothing to fight with," said Stoner.
His team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who chased Stoner home in third, said salvaging a podium was a good result in the circumstances.
"The team must be happy with the result after the tyre changed on the front," said Pedrosa. "But we have to get better for the next race and try to improve our pace."