For the second race in succession Andrea Dovizioso was robbed of the chance to fight for the podium but unlike Mugello, the costly non-score in the Catalan round of the MotoGP championship was of his own making.

Coming from Mugello, a circuit at which Ducati's GP15 was a constant threat, Dovizioso initially struggled to tame the machine's power over Montmel?'s bumpy, slippery surface.

Still, the Italian was sat in third and struggling to hold on to Valentino Rossi when he crashed at turn four on the sixth lap. Now fourth overall in the championship, Dovizioso acknowledged it was a costly fall.

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"I'm very disappointed about my crash today," said the 29-year old. "During the weekend we struggle quite a bit to have the speed. I'm happy how we worked because we arrived to make a good qualifying and to have the possibility to finish third in the race.

"The grip was very low, there were a lot of bumps. So I'm happy about that. But unfortunately I push too much when I was behind Valentino. Not really to stay with him but after one lap I understood I didn't have the possibility to stay with him. I wanted to see some points of the track where I was able to make better some corners.

"In turn four I open too much. I was a little bit faster with too much angle and when I lose the rear with the traction control work at the maximum but it wasn't enough to save me. I made a mistake and I'm disappointed for my team.

"We were able to finish third and for us it was very important to come back in the podium. Our speed is there. We show in five laps. That can happen when you push you very hard. The conditions was very difficult. When you arrive close to 50 degrees in the ground the tyre doesn't work. Anyway we have to take positives. We have a fast bike and I'm sure we'll go to Assen competitive."

Asked to specify where the Yamaha's enjoyed their advantage, Dovizioso pinpointed two key areas; the M1's turning point and grip on corner exit.

"I think especially there are two points where Yamaha is stronger than everybody," he explained. "This is the turning point and the grip in the traction area. The first part of the traction they have more grip. That's a point everywhere that makes the difference. But even more today when everybody couldn't push pretty hard.

"The Yamaha guys couldn't push like in practice because the grip was down. Anyway I believe they have a small advantage in these two areas. They ride in a perfect way. They don't push everywhere, just in the right place. They know how to do it. That's why I couldn't stay with them."

Leaving Le Mans 19 points in arrears of championship leader Rossi, Dovizioso now sits a troubling 55 behind. Still, the Italian feels the Ducati isn't too far off the rampant Movistar Yamahas of Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

"We still have to develop the bike. Also, everyone was struggling apart from the two Yamahas. It confirms they have a small advantage and we need to improve. This is why we're working very hard but it is not so far."