Dani Pedrosa concluded his 2015 season with a sixth podium finish as he brought his Honda home in third place at Valencia.
Arriving back in Spain having won two of the last three races, Pedrosa had hoped to challenge at the front but the heat at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo did not play into Honda's hand.
Although up to third almost off the line, the Honda rider was not able to stick with race leader Jorge Lorenzo nor his own team-mate Marc Marquez. Saving his tyres he was able to close the gap in the second half of the race.
With three to go he was a second behind Marquez and a lap later challenged his team-mate for second place, a position that Marquez quickly took back.
A small mistake on the final lap meant he could not launch another attack and Pedrosa had to accept third place.
He said: "I was not comfortable especially at the beginning of the race.
"I lost time and was dropping a little bit," he said.
"I tried to get closer in the middle of the race but still I wasn't matching the correct rhythm because I was suffering a lot with the front.
"But then I decided to try save some tyre.
"And towards the end I knew I had some extra so I pushed and was enjoying it a lot as I was recovering.
"I had a good time in the last couple of laps and tried to pass but I ran wide.
"In the last lap I made a mistake with the gears in one corner so I couldn't stay close."
Sunday's result concludes a strong second half to the season for the Spaniard, who missed three rounds of the championship after undergoing arm-pump surgery in April.
He said: "I'm happy anyway; I'm fourth in the Championship after all the problems I've had this year."