Pol Espargaro pointed toward the fortunes of the three other Yamaha riders as reason for him to feel content with equalling his best result in the MotoGP class at Assen.

The Tech 3 Yamaha man held third for the majority of the second running of the wet race, only to be passed by ex-Moto2 rival Scott Redding with two laps to go, denying the Catalan a debut premier class podium.

While the younger Espargaro brother was troubled by a lack of rear grip in the first encounter, a switch to Michelin's soft wet rear tyre aided his feel in the second, allowing him to climb from ninth to third in three laps.

"You know, Valentino crashed, Lorenzo was tenth, my team-mate crashed so it was not easy to ride a Yamaha today," said Espargaro, one of only four riders to score points in each of the season's eight races. "We were with the Ducatis and this was good.

"The first race was really bad and we had to use the hard compound on the rear. We were completely out. The front was really, really bad. The hard rear was also so, so bad. We were completely out of the race. I knew with the soft rear we had some options.

"With the hard we needed to wait for the track to start to dry. When it started to dry in the first race I was able to catch up a lot of riders. Then it started to rain again and we had to stop. In the second race with the soft rear I felt much, much better. I was much faster and I could do I good race.

"In the second race the feeling with the rear was good. I didn't feel the tyre going down. For sure the track started to dry and then the rear tyre dropped. I felt really good. Anyway in the wet I was able to do really good and was in front of Scott until two laps before the end. Scott is really fast in the wet so we did a good job."

Asked whether he was powerless to prevent Redding getting by in the closing stages, Espargaro admitted he "couldn't do more", and openly admitted that he did not have the speed to live with the Englishman.

"Scott was faster. He was just waiting behind me until the last laps to overtake me and finish on the podium. I knew this already. I couldn't do more. I tried to push one lap to see what was going on with the rear and I almost did one second faster in one lap.

"I took a lot of risks, just to see what would happen if I took some advantage. I didn't know who the rider was but he stayed completely behind and I said, "OK, he's playing, he's waiting.' I was waiting for him to overtake me."



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