Suzuki’s Alex Rins said he had to ride the hardest race of his life to earn his best ever MotoGP result as he sealed the runner-up spot behind Marc Marquez at Assen.

Rins made stealthy progress throughout the race and bridged the gap to the top four before throwing down his rostrum challenge.

The young Spaniard became embroiled in a battle with Maverick Vinales on the final lap and went underneath the Yamaha rider to snatch second place, claiming the best premier class result of his career on the GSX-RR.

Rins said: “It was incredible for me and I think the hardest race of my life in MotoGP. I did my best, we know since yesterday it will be a very difficult race with a lot of riders on the front but we managed really well.

“In the middle of the race I was trying to push and 10 laps to the end, I was fourth or fifth and the first group was gone a little bit. I was trying to keep my rhythm, trying to catch them because I know I was able to finish on the podium. I overtook a lot and I enjoyed this race.

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“It was incredible because two or three laps before I overtook Marc I saw him very strong on that corner, but I was feeling great, I was feeling good, then I think why not? I overtook him but on the next lap he overtook me so I said, wow, it will be a fantastic race, but also in the with Maverick also and with every rider, with (Andrea) Dovizioso – I enjoyed it a lot.”

Rins said there was no single reason for his podium result at the Dutch TT although he has focused on trying to cut out small mistakes and said a new engine provided by Suzuki for the Assen race boosted his top-end speed.

“Since Qatar we are going very fast, in all the tracks I was not riding in the first positions but riding with the front group in a lot of tracks, but I did small mistakes and I was crashing. Now I try to keep more calm and especially on this track, Suzuki bring a new engine with a little bit more speed on the top and that helped us a little bit on the straight,” said Rins.

“That’s all, I think that all the races coming will be great for us and I will try to give my best in every race. We know that on Friday we suffer a little bit so I will try to be on the front the maximum races I can.”

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