Honda rider Dani Pedrosa praised Valentino Rossi after the pair was involved in a late scrap for the final podium position at Indianapolis on Sunday.
Pedrosa started in second place on the grid and Rossi in eighth, but by the end of the first lap Pedrosa found himself in third while Rossi had made his way up to fourth in the 27-lap race.
Rossi, who has been leading the MotoGP standings throughout the season, made his move on the Spaniard on the 18th lap, and even though Pedrosa was able to respond, he couldn't make his move stick and ultimately had to settle for fourth place.
Despite the disappointment of having missed out on a podium in a race he had ambitions of challenging at the front of the grid, Pedrosa was impressed with the way Rossi performed on the day.
"It was quite tough today because Valentino was way quicker in the race than in practice, like 0.6/7s faster," Pedrosa said.
"To improve that much is quite impressive. Also at least sometimes you can do it at the beginning of the race, you can improve, but he stayed quite constant and strong all the race.
"But I think at the very end, like the last six laps, I was faster. When I make the move then I also immediately made a mistake at turn ten. He re-passed me and kind of got a little bit stronger when he was in front. When I ride behind it's more difficult sometimes. I could regroup and get back on him in the last laps but Rossi is always strong in the last lap.
"Unfortunately it didn't come out in the way I wanted but I just missed the podium. It's not good but anyway we have to work. I learnt a lot in this race. I hope I can come back strong in the next week where I won my last race. I hope we can repeat it."
While Pedrosa was unable to maintain the pace set by eventual winner Marc Marquez and second placed Jorge Lorenzo, he was still satisfied with his performance on the day, even though he felt he was faster than Rossi during the closing stages of the race.
"[I learnt] The way to ride the bike. This year I struggle with the setting and I struggle to have the perfect pace, the fast pace. Always I miss out by 0.2 or 0.3. in the last laps I can find myself back with the bike more comfortable riding.
"During the race I had several different stages when I was on the limit or more comfortable. At the end I could feel more integrated with the bike so this gives me some motivation for the next week.
"It was really hot and humid and this track is quite physical with the changes of direction because they are quite fast. I think this race was very physical, especially at that pace because no lap we gave up a little to rest. Every lap was 100 percent. Maybe one time the lap time wasn't perfect but the effort was always there."