Aleix Espargaro says seventh place in the Grand Prix of Spain was the 'maximum' he could achieve as he struggled to keep pace with his rivals in race conditions.

The Spaniard started his home race in fine form with excellent pace over a single on Friday and though a mistake in qualifying cost him a higher starting position than fifth, he still harboured desires of a podium result.

However, come race day, Espargaro would struggle to mount a challenge beyond the mid-pack, the Forward Yamaha rider pushing hard to overhaul Andrea Dovizioso, only to be surpassed on the straights each time. Passed by Alvaro Bautista late in the race, Espargaro says seventh was the best he could manage on the day.

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"I am not really happy about the position but it was the maximum that we could do," he said. "I had a good start and I pushed to my maximum and overtook Bradley and Bradl and my feeling was that my pace was better than Dovi but I tried to overtake him so many times and he killed me every time on the straights. So it was impossible to stay in front of him and it was the same when Bautista arrived. We don't have official bikes but we beat two official Yamahas and almost a Honda and Ducati so we did a great job.

"It was unbelievably frustrating because Dovi is a really good friend but if not I would have liked to have not used the brake into the first corner[laughs]! It was frustrating but for me our team are doing a great effort to stay close to the leaders and after the three factories we are the best team and the guys are working really hard. Obviously we don't have enough horsepower so this is the maximum that we can do. Every weekend we need to stay close to them and maybe at the tracks with less straights we can stay close to them.

"I used the soft tyre, I couldn't go with the extra soft. I checked the gap between me and Nicky and I was ten seconds faster than him but these ten seconds are enough to destroy the extra soft tyre. So it was impossible for me to use that tyre on the Yamaha. It's not possible to stop and go with this bike so we need to carry the corner speed on the Yamaha and we would destroy the softer tyre."