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Before we all say that Cal is too slow in the early laps we should remember the previous race at Catalunya, where Cal was up the leaders in the early laps, but slid off when his front tyre folded.
What we saw at Assen was Cal using his head and making sure the tyres were up to temperature before giving it the berries. This was clearly the sensible thing to do and finishing in third is far better than not finishing at all.
His consideration and respect for JLo during the laps where Cal shadowed him also delayed Cal's chase of the leaders, and an earlier pass might have seen him catch Marquez sooner. And at the rate he caught up with MM93 Cal would then have had more time to fight for 2nd place.
Cal is clearly capable of running with the "aliens" and more success will follow if he continues to use his head.