Dani Pedrosa was left a sitting duck throughout Saturday's wet track sessions at Assen, the lightest rider on the grid unable to get his rear tyre within its operating temperature.

The Repsol Honda rider was last in the soaking morning FP3 session and went on to qualify twelfth and last of the riders in Q2.

But it could have been much worse.

Pedrosa only made it through to Q2 by setting the tenth-best dry Friday time. Had the Spaniard been forced to take part in Q1, and set the same time as in Q2, he would be starting 23rd and last, almost one-second from next slowest rider Tito Rabat.

"Today was a very difficult day because in the rain with the wet tyres I had no grip, especially the rear tyre. When the track was completely wet I had zero grip," Pedrosa confirmed.

"We tried to work with the setting of the bike, we worked with the tyres, the technicians from Michelin and I worked also on the track to try to get temperature in the tyres. Doing laps, doing different riding. But I got just 30-degrees on the rear tyre. So I was completely out of the range of the tyre working.

"I was not in the same situation as the other riders today on the track. I was completely off. I only got some more temperature when the track was drying out. When the track dries and you can ride better with the wet tyre, it means the tyre is too hard. Or I'm too light...

"In FP4 at Le Mans when it was completely raining I had the same problem. I was almost last because I cannot get any temperature in the tyres. Again."

Pedrosa, who weighs just 51kg and often has to hear other riders talk of the advantage he gains in acceleration and less tyre stress, added: "Today I don't think you will hear some riders complaining that I'm too light, and that's why I don't damage the tyres!"

If it's wet like this again on Sunday, will you even be able to finish the race?

"I can finish the race but very slow. You could see how they overtake me today," replied Pedrosa, who was 3.5s off the pole pace of Johann Zarco.

And if the race is dry?

"Starting twelfth is not easy and for sure I don't have the best rhythm, or the best feeling in this track. So I think tomorrow is going to be a very difficult race at the beginning, to get the good position. To know where I am and get a feeling for the track. For sure I will try to recover positions but there are still some riders that can be faster than me here, so I need to focus very much for tomorrow and see how many places I can recover.

Pedrosa is fourth in the world championship, 27-points from Maverick Vinales, who is starting just ahead of him in eleventh after also struggling in qualifying.

By Peter McLaren

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