Bradley Smith pounced with a final lap swoop to edge ahead of Ducati pair Andrea Dovizioso
and Nicky Hayden
to claim ninth place in the Dutch MotoGP at Assen.
Smith had qualified in a brilliant sixth position on the second row on the Tech 3 Yamaha machine, but dropped back at the beginning of the race.
He slipped to 11th position but with a final huge effort, the British MotoGP rookie made up two places on the last lap to earn his fifth consecutive top ten finish on the satellite M1.
“With my wrist injury continuing to cause me a problem, today was probably my hardest race of the year,” said Smith.
“After the operation immediately after Catalunya I expected it to be better than the last two races but to be honest I have a few more problems now.
“So it was a good race and to be able to get ninth on the last lap is a good situation.
“The distance to [Stefan] Bradl was quite similar to Barcelona and truthfully this ninth feels better than the sixth I got in Barcelona, because today I really had to battle and nobody crashed,” he added.
“The gap to the front is quite similar to Barcelona and obviously the big positive of the weekend was starting on the second row.
“I knew finishing seventh was going to be a best case scenario because I knew Jorge was going to be coming through.”
Smith feels he is still losing time at the beginning of races but is in an upbeat frame of mind ahead of the next race at the Sachsenring in Germany.
“I stayed consistent and my pace in the second half of the race was strong. I still need to work on the set-up for the early laps but I can go to Germany with a lot of confidence.
“I've scored another top ten and beaten two very experienced riders on the final lap,” he said.
“And hopefully the wrist will be less of a problem at Germany and I can be in a bit less discomfort than here.”