Dani Pedrosa was thankful for dry weather at Assen as the Repsol Honda rider posted the third fastest time overall following free practice on Thursday.

Pedrosa, who pushed team-mate Marc Marquez all the way in a thrilling final-lap duel at the Catalunya MotoGP last time out, clocked a best time of 1m 34.069s to finish 0.416s down on Aleix Espargaro and 0.205s behind Marquez.

"Today we were fortunate to have two dry sessions here in Assen. In the morning the track was cooler but in the afternoon we had a very good track temperature, which allowed us to improve our feeling a little and in general we had good conditions for riding," said Pedrosa.

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"It was very unusual to have this kind of sunshine and ground temperature, so in the morning we did the first run and in the afternoon it felt better - the lap times were fast for every rider.

"This means the track temperature or conditions were good and I could work on the bike and get some ideas on what was better for the bike," he added.

"We need to work more and especially if the weather changes then we need to react to the conditions. Let's see how it is tomorrow and try to get the best out of any conditions, especially in qualifying when it's very important."

Pedrosa is also hoping to take the fight to team-mate Marc Marquez in a repeat of their thrilling battle last time out at Catalunya.

"We have to wait and see how the race will be, if it's raining or dry, but for sure my hope is to be in that kind of battle again," he said.

"I don't know if they [Yamaha] are better or not [when it is colder], but we are better when it's warm. After the last race and the test, our expectation is to be up at the front."

The Honda rider also has no inclination to use the larger brake discs at Assen, where he feels there is nothing to be gain over the smaller discs.

"This is not a track where you need massive braking. The smaller disc is lighter; you can feel [the difference]," he said.

"The bigger ones are much more biting so in this kind of track softer [braking] is not bad."