No, if anything it was probably just on the rear stand, I don't remember.
You could try very lightly smearing regular grease on the gasket to get it to stick to the cover, before working it over the top. The top doesn't get near hot enough to turn the grease into anything nasty and if you do get a tiny amount in the rocker box, it's not going to harm the engine.
Asides from that, perseverance is all I got to offer!
1974 CB125S (purchased 1983, ate 2 crankshafts, sold 1984)
1986 Rebel 250 / N. California (purchased 2019)