Pol Espargaro said he is unable to be content with his sixth place finish in the Italian MotoGP at Mugello because 'my team-mate is in front of me'.

Espargaro finished behind Bradley Smith on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 and believes he could have challenged the British rider for fifth had it not been for the problems he is encountering with his arm, with Espargaro recently undergoing surgery to treat arm pump.

"At the beginning I had some problems. It pumps a little bit as it was at the beginning of the other races," said Espargaro.

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"By the end I was at some gap from Bradley and I was able at the end of the race to recover the distance and to attack him to the last lap, but he was impossible to overtake because we were so tired from the other arm.

"I was not able to do it. But I am quite happy because we recovered the gap by the end. But at the end we had more problems, so happy with it.

"Happy with the result, no, because my team-mate is in front of me. In normal conditions I could do better. But looking at everything and looking that it was two weeks of at home doing nothing and after surgery etc. to be attacking to my team-mate is good. Fifteen seconds off the leader - this is good.

"But okay, I will prepare now Montmelo, with less stress, training, getting ready with the arm. There I will be ready."

Espargaro has ruled out the prospect of running with the factory Yamaha, Ducati and Honda riders this season, saying it is impossible on a 'semi-official' bike.

"No, 100 per-cent," said Espargaro, asked if this was a possibility.

"You see when [Marc] Marquez has some problem with the bike he is not able to be with them. You can imagine us with a semi-official bike, it's clear.

"[Andrea] Iannone was in Pramac, he was not able to be on top, now he goes to an official team, he's there. I trust in me. I believe in me and I believe in what I did before.

"I beat Iannone many times and I was fighting with Marquez. So I can be with them. So it means they are so strong but everything helps."

Espargaro's aim is to secure a factory ride and he admits it has been frustrating attempting to battle with the leading riders to no avail.

"For sure [it is frustrating]. But it's frustrating the first year. The second year a little bit but this is what it is. You can do nothing," he said.

"Just pray a little bit and make a good year with everything good and go to an official team. Honda, Yamaha, now Ducati is working good, maybe on the Suzuki but we know already. It's clear. But in the results it's really clear."

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I rate Bradley fairly highly - as a good satellite Motogp rider.

I had hoped Pol would blossom into a real prospect this year - a "factory rider in waiting" if you will, but it hasn't quite happened as yet...