Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez says a podium was realistically the best he could have hoped for at Assen as he achieved his pre-race target of a top three result.

Marquez had to dig deep on the final lap to get the better of Cal Crutchlow on the LCR Honda, who mounted a late charge after light rain began to fall in the closing stages of the race.

The reigning world champion is fourth in the championship, only four points behind race winner Valentino Rossi, and Marquez says he had the title in mind as he exercised a little more caution than normal after seeing the rain flags being waved around the course.

"During all weekend I saw on Friday that in dry conditions, Yamaha riders were one step in front of us and we were struggling a lot, especially with the stability of the bike. The Honda was shaking all the time but OK, we were able to be there, to stay in the podium, which was the target, but when there is more rain it was so difficult," he said.

"I had a big moment in the first part of the race and then when there was rain. I started to cool down a little bit and I know also that Danilo [Petrucci] and Valentino were pushing a lot but I was able to be there.

"The last lap was fun with Cal, with [Andrea] Dovizioso, and in the end we will take this 16 points. After this difficult first part of the season to be just 11 points behind the third rider is so good and I'm so happy for this because I know that we can improve. We need something more but of course, we will arrive."

Marquez said it was difficult initially to understand initially whether or not it would be necessary to change bikes in pit lane when the rain began to fall, but he decided instead to follow the lead of the riders ahead of him.

"When I saw the rain it was so difficult to understand so then I decided I will copy the front guys. It was difficult to understand when was the point to change the bike and normally I'm very good there, if it's from wet to try, but from dry to wet is more difficult," he said.

"I was behind them and tried to be there but I saw with slick tyres the lap time was still faster than with rain tyres."

The Spaniard has a stellar record at the Sachsenring and says it will be the perfect chance to attack as he attempts to claw back some ground in the title race.

"Yes Sachsenring is a circuit that is maybe not one of my favourites because it is a little bit strange, but I like it because for my riding style it is working well and also the Honda there every year is working well.

"But this season is a new asphalt, they resurfaced everything, so we will see when we arrive there but it is a circuit if I feel OK and I feel strong, it is time to attack."

 

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