Aleix Espargaro’s gamble of staying out on slick tyres during the Austrian MotoGP came agonisingly close to producing a first podium with Aprilia. 

When heavy rain fell late on, Marc Marquez, Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge Martin, Joan Mir and Fabio Quartararo pitted for wet tyres, however, Espargaro decided to stay out after seeing eventual race winner Brad Binder do the same. 

It was a decision that looked set to yield a first podium in over seven years - would have been his third in MotoGP, but a last lap mistake at turn one put the Spaniard into the clutches of Iker Lecuona and more worryingly Bagnaia and Martin. 

The two Ducati riders passed Espargaro with just two corners remaining, before the Aprilia man was eventually relegated to tenth by Quartararo, Mir and the remaining dry tyre riders.

"Yeah, obviously I’m very frustrated, very unhappy, but this is the magic of the sport," said Espargaro. 

"How things can change so quickly; this is what we love about the sport. I tried my best when I saw a few drops. I was very competitive in the dry sincerely, but when I saw a few drops I said ‘you have to go for it’. 

"I saw Binder try and I did the same. The last lap it was very difficult to control the bike because it was super slippery. 

"I made a mistake in corner one and went wide - lost about six/seven seconds which was enough to lose the podium chance. 

"But anyway, when you make this risk you can have a really good result or not and today it was not the day. I will try again in Silverstone."

Binder, who was only a second ahead of the Spaniard once the others pitted, went on to produce a final two laps that will stay in the memory for a very long time.

It was a performance that generated high praise from Espargaro: "He’s unbelievable! He’s one of the riders with the most talent on the grid. I really like a lot Brad and his riding technique and the way he can play with the bike with a lot of lean angle; sliding the bike in the dry allows him to have control in tricky conditions like today."