Andrea Dovizioso says his 'smooth and consistent' approach to the Grand Prix of Spain was pivotal to him securing a top five finish in Jerez as he rebuffed his rivals all the way to the chequered flag.

Starting in sixth place, Dovizioso got a marvellous get away to dive into the first corner with the lead and though it was a moment that lasted just a couple of seconds when he ran wide and ceded the advantage to Marc Marquez, he would get the chance to circulate with the leaders initially.

Once the top four pulled away, Dovizioso settled into a rhythm in fifth place before coming under pressure from Aleix Espargaro and Alvaro Bautista in the closing stages.

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However, though both would get past Dovizioso at one stage, the Ducati rider would fight back each time as his rivals struggled to maintain their limit. Going on to secure fifth place, Dovizioso - who only managed the 10th best lap of the race - says his 'smooth' style was key to keeping his 'over the limit' rivals at bay.

"I am happy to get into the first corner first, then win the battle at the end with Yamaha and Honda, so I am positive about that. Everybody knows this track is difficult for me to get a good result, but I think we did the best we could, so I am positive about that.

"I think I made an intelligent race. I couldn't push too much, I just had to not push the limit on the front, because I couldn't brake hard on angle or make good speed in the middle of the corner.

"I was riding smooth and consistent, and that works because the riders behind me were over the limit. They could overtake me, but I was able to overtake again. I rode in a good way and I didn't use too much of the tyre, and in the end I had more traction so I was able to accelerate and brake better. It was aggressive but clean."