Andrea Iannone salvaged an excellent fifth place after the re-started Dutch TT at Assen played into his hands following his rear-of-the-grid penalty.

The Ducati rider, who topped Friday's free practice times on the GP16, was forced to start from the back of the grid as punishment for his collision with Jorge Lorenzo at Catalunya and had made up rapid ground in the wet to climb as high as fifth place.

However, the 26-year-old was caught out by the conditions on lap 14, but fortunately for Iannone, the race was stopped and he was able to line up in 17th place on row six for Race 2.

He was unable to make such a strong start to the 12-lap race, but Iannone gradually progressed through the field to seal a top-six finish on the Ducati, crossing the line in fifth behind Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Pol Espargaro.

"It was an incredible race, especially for me because I start from last position and it is very difficult," said Iannone.

"During the first two laps I closed a lot the gap and I closed the second lap in 10th position, this is very good. The feeling of the bike from [Saturday] improved a lot, but always the situation is very difficult because the asphalt of the track is very slippery.

"I tried to manage the best this situation but I think it is always difficult because I made a mistake before the second start. I think the situation of the track changed a lot and also I don't have so many settings to adjust the traction control. When I lost the rear, it is because I have very little control," he added.

"I come back into the box for the second race and my team is very strong and the bike was perfect for the second race and this for me is very good. For the second start, the situation was a little bit better because we start with the soft tyre on the rear.

"The pace was not so bad but I did not recover the gap very fast like the first race but I think we managed the situation better."

Iannone said that while the Desmosedici GP16 is a much improved package, there is still some way go before the bike is on a par with the factory Honda and Yamaha machines.

"I think this year we have a very good bike but sometimes it is a little bit more difficult, like Barcelona. Some tracks are better for us and some tracks - no, but I think it is [the same] for everybody," said Iannone, who will be joined at Suzuki in 2017 by Alex Rins.

"We have not arrived completely to recover the gap to Honda and Yamaha but for sure Ducati work a lot during this year and it is a little bit surprise for me this track because in the past we have a very difficult situation. This year in Assen we have a very good performance and his is very good for the future."



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