Andrea Dovizioso was rewarded with a superb rostrum finish for Ducati at the Dutch MotoGP following a difficult race in mixed conditions at Assen.

Dovizioso, who held a lead of around four seconds after capitalising on a mistake by eventual winner Marc Marquez after the pair had pitted to switch to slick tyres on lap six, refused to go down without a fight but eventually had to give second best to Marquez as he settled for a brilliant runner-up finish on the Desmosedici.

The Italian rider had qualified in seventh place to head up row three but Dovizioso made a flying start and swapped places with Marquez on the opening lap before settling in behind the Repsol Honda rider in the damp conditions in the early laps as they pulled away from the chasing pack.

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Dovizioso, though conceded that he didn't have the pace to match Marquez when the reigning MotoGP world champion recovered from his error to claw back the deficit, taking the lead on lap 16.

"The tyre didn't drop too much. Marquez was much faster and I didn't have the chance to try and follow," said Dovizioso.

"I tried for two laps but the second position is much more than we expected. It was really wet so it was more about trying to stay on the track and it was quite difficult to understand what was dry and what was wet because the colour was quite the same.

"I think 26 laps was too long for us," he added. "The track became dry very quickly and my pace was good; I was able to go in front of Marc but when it started to rain a little bit I didn't push for two laps - it wasn't heavy but I decided to hold back a bit.

"It is obviously important [podium finish] but still we are not as fast as we would like."


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Hardly any conclusions can be made relative to the past. The Ducati has improved a lot and gets benefits that it previously did not have. It never was bad in mixed wet conditions. Come dry also Dovi is just average.

You could see Dovi benefit from the mega grip and power while standing still in the curves. The Honda is simply a much better bike overall, but dovi would not stand a chance with the 2012 Ducati.

The ducati was standing still in the curves. Maybe they should at some support wheels on the sides to improve the riders confidence. On the straights and pulling out of the curves the Honda was standing still on the other hand...Dovi got again a Ducati wet race podium which so many riders got already...