For the first half of Saturday's Dutch TT, Andrea Dovizioso kept the pressure on team-mate and MotoGP title leader Casey Stoner for second place.

But the Italian's hopes of finishing as the top Repsol Honda rider for the first time this year were blighted by a strange vibration.

Dovizioso's pace dropped and he was almost 20sec behind Stoner at the chequered flag, but achieved his aim of holding onto third place, with Ducati's Valentino Rossi three-seconds behind.

"When we were on the grid, the weather was still unpredictable and the track was not completely dry, so we went for a safe tyre selection, choosing the soft front tyre," explained Dovizioso.

"This choice influenced my race because when I tried to stay with Casey, I was losing the front and I couldn't push harder. This is my only disappointment today. Then after 15 laps, a strange vibration on the rear began. It was very annoying and I couldn't understand what it was.

"As I had a good margin from Valentino, I rode more carefully to secure the third position. After the race we saw that the front tyre had some issues, which Bridgestone will analyse."

The investigation showed that the 'rear' vibration actually came from the front tyre.

"Andrea reported a vibration from the rear of his bike, but investigation shows that this didn't have anything to do with the rear tyre but may have been the effect he felt of graining on the right side of the front tyre," said Bridgestone's Hirohide Hamashima.

Dovizioso is now third in the world championship, and just nine points behind Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo.