Marc Marquez had mixed feelings after sealing a fifth MotoGP™ title by winning in Japan following Andrea Dovizioso's late crash.
The dominant Repsol Honda rider was crowned champion for the third successive year on Sunday after another dramatic battle with Dovizioso at Motegi.
Pole-sitter Dovizioso lost control when second behind Marquez on the penultimate lap, ending his slim hopes of dethroning the Spaniard.
Marquez savoured securing a seventh overall title of his magnificent career after working his way up from sixth on the grid to second after the first lap, but felt Dovizioso deserved a podium finish.
"I'm really happy, the race has been exactly what was in my mind. Yesterday after the qualy, I tried to analyse, I tried to understand. I knew the pace of FP4 was really good," said Marquez.
"Before the race, we planned like always. We tried to understand what the realistic possibility was and we saw that we had the same pace as Dovi.
"But I was starting in sixth place, so I knew it had to go the perfect way in the first lap, riding a perfect shape, perfect rhythm and I was already second behind Dovi at the end of the first lap, which was the target.
"I saw that I was strong enough to fight with him until the end and I tried to attack, I made a small mistake, then Dovi overtook me again. I was able to follow him in a good way and then I attacked.
"It was the same strategy as Thailand and I saw that in the last laps he had more chance to win because he was faster. When I saw Dovi out, the first thought I was very happy, because I won the title.
"Then when I finished I was disappointed because he deserved to be here too. He had an incredible season and an incredible race."