Aleix Espargaro's wait for an Aprilia MotoGP podium will continue into the second half of the 2021 season.

The Spaniard is already on the verge of beating his best full-season points haul on the much-improved RS-GP, while his present eighth in the world championship is four places higher than the bike's previous peak by Alvaro Bautista in 2016.

Espargaro has also taken a front-row start at Sachsenring, but a podium remains just out of reach. Much to his frustration.

"I feel like a bit like an idiot because I feel like I'm strong, I'm fast, I'm ready to fight for the podium but then in the race I can't overtake," Espargaro said after an eighth place at Assen.

"I have a big limitation with the engine performance in the straights. I was a lot stronger than Bagnaia for example, or Miller at the beginning, but I was stuck behind them and it's a big frustration."

Espargaro spent the final laps fighting over sixth place, which would have again equalled the RS-GP's race best, with Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia and Honda's Sachsenring winner Marc Marquez.

"I enjoyed it, I knew that Marc is a hard one to battle but I felt strong today," Espargaro said. "I had good pace, the bike was turning good everywhere.

"Marc and myself were faster than Pecco actually, in every single corner we were stronger than him but when Pecco put the bike straight it's like a rocket and even Marc was not able to overtake him.

"When Marc overtook me, I decided to overtake him again but then I gave him the chance for 4-5 laps to overtake Bagnaia. But he was not able. No way.

"So then when he was not able to overtake Bagnaia, I tried to at least arrive in front of him, but he was stronger than me in the last chicane.

"On the last lap I put everything I had, I actually did my personal best, '33.3, but it was not enough to overtake him unfortunately."

Bagnaia crossed the line 10.035s from race winner Fabio Quartararo and 4.275s from the podium. Marquez was just 0.075s behind the Italian, with Espargaro in turn 0.236s from the Honda.

Team-mate Lorenzo Savadori finished in 16th place. The rookie's seat is now expected to go to Maverick Vinales for 2022 after the shock news that Vinales will split from Yamaha at the end of this season.