Marc Marquez savoured his first victory in 19 months on Sunday saying that while he expected the rest of the season to be tough, "today is a time to enjoy and a time to say thanks".
The six-time world champion made a break for it when rain arrived early in the German Grand Prix and nursed his advantage to finish comfortably ahead of in-form Miguel Oliveira and championship leader Fabio Quartararo.
It was his first victory since Valencia in November 2019. Last season was wiped out by a crash in the opening race which led to three operations on his smashed right arm.
"Marc is from another planet," laughed Quartararo. "When you miss a year, after a serious injury, several operations, it's incredible what he achieved today."
Marquez told the post-race press conference that the victory was an important marker for himself and for Honda, which is sponsored by Spanish petrol company Repsol.
"We were looking for a petrol station because the fuel tank was on the limit and here at the Sachsenring we found a petrol station," he said, adding with a laugh "Repsol of course."
"Last October or November, winning again was not important, I was scared for my arm. I had less power and feeling and there was infection inside. Every step was a step back," he said. "I was thinking about my arm, my life, not racing."
"Since the third surgery, everything is more normal, but this last part is very hard, I have a few limitations that are difficult to improve."
"This victory helps a lot to keep me going."
"When I crossed the line, I thought of all the people who helped me to be here today. From a deep situation it's impossible to get out alone. You need the team. You need the doctors, the physios, the family, the friends.
"In the next race we will come back to reality, but today is a time to enjoy and time to say thanks."
Marquez said that he was realistic about his chances in the upcoming races.
'The pain is there. It's always there' -
After the Dutch Grand Prix next week there is a five-week break before two races at Spielberg in Austria where, he pointed out, he had never won.
"Assen we will struggle again," he said. "The summer break will help and I hope to take a step on my physical condition," he said adding that he will not "be the same Marc as 2019 and I will not be ready to fight for the victory in Austria."
He said that the Sachsenring had not punished either his weaknesses or those of his Honda, but in general: "I'm not helping the bike, and the bike is not helping me.
Asked who would win the title, Marquez, sitting between Oliveira and Quartararo, answered: "I don't care because I won't win this year."
"I'm 90 points behind Quartararo, and we are talking about a MotoGP rider. For me it's the same to finish second, third, fourth, fifth, if you don't win the championship. Who finished second in 2005 for example? Do you remember? I don't remember either."
Marquez was satisfied his point was proven when the others in the room tried to recall who had finished second to Valentino Rossi in 2005 and none could name Marco Melandri.
Marquez said his approach had been helped by a phone conversation with Australian Mick Doohan who almost lost a leg after a crash in 1992 but recovered to win five 500cc world titles.
"I was 30 minutes in a phone call with him, just listening," said Marquez.
"He was explaining his situation but it was as if he were explaining my situation: exactly the same problems, you're not riding as you want, stupid mistakes, stupid crash, some times you will be fast, some slow and you don't know why. This helped a lot.
"Today is important but it's not where I want to be. I want to ride as before and I'm still not doing it."
"The pain is there. It's always there. It's not a normal arm. It needs time."