Bradley Smith was far from pleased with finishing outside the top six on 'the best bike I've had all year' in Saturday's MotoGP race at Assen.

Starting from a lowly twelfth position, Smith was unable to break free from a race-long eight-rider scrap that included fellow 'Satellite' challenger Cal Crutchlow and the 'Factory' machines of Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso.

Like countryman Crutchlow, Smith as extremely frustrated at not being able to free himself from the constant overtaking that allowed Andrea Iannone some light relief in fourth.

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Believing he had the bike to finish behind Jorge Lorenzo, Smith was finding it hard to accept finishing seventh and two places, and just 0.17s, behind team-mate Pol Espargaro when he spoke on Saturday afternoon.

"Like I said to my team, at the end of the day I'm sorry because the bike was good enough for 4th today," he said. "I had certainly the bike underneath me to follow Iannone but a twelfth position start, plus the fact that obviously it's a tough track to pass. It's disappointing because they give me a bike for fourth and I ended up seventh.

"I could have accepted fifth but seventh was a little bit tough to swallow. It's one of those ones that you have to learn from and then move on from it. The good thing was I was actually able to pass people. I passed Dani a lot of times. I passed Cal, I passed Pol.

"I passed everyone in that group, which before I've always complained I couldn't do anything. I sat behind like a spectator. So from that point of view we've made a good step. It's the best bike that I've had all year so far. So moving on from this I'm optimistic moving on, it's just a difficult one to swallow when you haven't really performed to the maximum result that was possible today."

Despite starting brilliantly from the past two races, Smith was unable to replicate those getaways in Holland and subsequently couldn't shake off the faster Ducatis as a result.

"I tried [to follow Jorge Lorenzo] but he got a great start. And to be honest on his side of the grid it was obviously a little bit better for turn one. I got pinched in the first corner. And then yeah, it was a strange one. I had good pace. I could run kind of that 34.6, 34.7 but it was difficult to pass.

"I got to the front of the group. I then went off track, fell back to the back of the group. And then I was with Dani and Dovi and when you're behind those on a Yamaha it's real hard work, especially Dovi.

"Now it's getting to the point it's such an unfair advantage it's really hard work. It's a rocket ship. You can't do anything. He can stop in the middle of the corner and still pass you down the straight. So it's a tough one."

Smith remains sixth in the chamoionship standings, now just ten points behind Andrea Dovizioso in fifth.