Jorge Lorenzo said his third place in the Dutch TT at Assen salvaged the best result he could have hoped for after the Movistar Yamaha rider struggled for pace at the legendary track.

Lorenzo, who had won four races on the trot before the Assen round to close to within a point of championship leader Valentino Rossi, qualified on row three in eighth place - his lowest position in almost a year.

However, he shot into third place on the opening lap and remained there throughout, clinching the final podium place in a damage limitation exercise as Rossi won the race to extend his series lead to 10 points.

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Lorenzo said: "It's been one year since I start so far [back] - it was here, actually in 2014 and it was a strange qualifying and we were very far.

"Today I knew I have a difficult situation but luckily I made a good start and had a good first corner and in half of the track I was already third so I just had to concentrate to be as fast as possible to keep the pace of Valentino and Marc.

"I did it for three or four laps but then the kept their pace and little by little I started dropping my pace, especially in this two sectors that I was never competitive.

"I tried but I really lose too much in the two sectors with high-speed chicanes and I couldn't change direction quick enough. In this track I wasn't really competitive and I was worse than normal," he added.

"Marc [Marquez] improved this weekend his pace and Valentino was really competitive from the first practice and I was slower, but we saved a very difficult situation to be honest."

Lorenzo expects to be more competitive at the Sachsenring on July 12 although he concedes that the circuit has never been one of his strongest in the past.

"We have some time to rest and go to Germany and it is a track that is normally very difficult for me. I came close to winning two or three times but I have never won there, but anyway you never know what will happen and maybe this year is the time," he said.

"We shouldn't have the same problems as here but let's see, we are just 10 points behind Valentino and I think we will arrive at a better track for us."