A tyre-choice gamble was Ducati's only hope of challenging Maverick Vinales for victory in the MotoGP-opening Qatar Grand Prix, admitted runner-up Andrea Dovizioso.
Vinales converted his testing and practice pace to a win on his Yamaha debut, but had to battle past Dovizioso's Ducati in the closing laps to do so.
Dovizioso had changed from a medium-compound rear tyre to a soft on the grid, putting him at odds with the all-medium-shod majority.
He conceded he ran short of grip late on, but said if he had mirrored Yamaha's tyre choice Ducati would not have been fast enough to fight for victory.
"The gamble we took I think was completely right because we had good speed before the race but we couldn't race with Maverick, he had a different pace," Dovizioso said.
"That was the reality.
"We took the gamble because there was a lot of humidity. We thought the race would be slower and if you don't push really hard you can save the soft tyre.
"After the crash of [Johann] Zarco I was leading and able to save the tyre.
"I tried to be consistent and not use the potential of the tyre.
"I did that but still in the last five laps the rear tyre dropped too much.
"I tried everything but Maverick saw my negative points on the track and he overtook me in the right place on the lap before last.
"We did a great job, we took the right strategy and to finish second, very close to Maverick, is a good result."
Vinales needed several attempts to successfully overtake Dovizioso, who used the Ducati's straightline speed to good effect.
"I didn't know how to pass him. We had a great battle," said the Spaniard.
"I knew if I didn't pull out a little bit he was going to pass me as he was so fast on the straight.
"I was just trying to be smooth, do my best laps at the end and finally we did it.
"It's so great, like being in a dream. First race with Yamaha and winning, I could not ask for more."