MotoGP currently has three pairs of brothers, but none of them had fought with their sibling for the lead of a race, until Sunday's British Grand Prix.

Having finally received a reward for this 2021 efforts in the form of a debut Repsol Honda pole position, Pol Espargaro then bolted away at the start of the race.

But soon completing a dream scenario for the Espargaro family was older brother Aleix, who burst through to second for Aprilia.

The Espargaros remained at the head of the field for three laps before world championship leader Fabio Quartararo fought his way to the front, then remained in podium contention until the closing stages of the race.

While Aleix was able to make history with Aprilia's first rostrum, Pol was forced to settle for fifth as his soft tyre felt the strain. Naturally disappointed to miss out on a podium of his own, Espargaro was proud of his brother's result and relieved to have finally delivered a decent race on the RCV.

"First of all, to fight against my brother in MotoGP - not that many brothers were fighting for the podium or a race victory. That was quite emotional and I feel actually super proud," Pol said.

"I really enjoyed those first laps in the race. I was remembering what the feelings were [to be at the front].

"I would love to be on the podium [as well]. I think we had the potential today, but the situation we have now is what it is and we couldn’t fight more than I did, in my opinion.

"At the end, we need to be happy. We need to see the overall of the weekend and if before come here someone told me that I’m going to do the pole and finish in fifth position, just four-seconds off the podium, I would sign for it. So, we must be happy."

The short answer as to why Espargaro was suddenly more competitive this weekend is rear grip, the area where Honda – and especially Espargaro - have been struggling all season.

"For our bike, for sure it’s not one of the best places, but actually we have this new asphalt which gives us grip," he explained earlier in the weekend. "We are struggling and having so many problems with the grip all year, that when we have a little more; it’s like when someone gives you a little bit of what you need, you hold onto it more than the people who have it always.

"As soon as I saw the track and the temperature and everything, I expected to have a little bit more grip than normal. This helped us so much, especially on entry as we can stop the bike faster, we can brake later and I can use a little bit more the rear brake.

"I can also open a little bit the throttle with some angle and when I pick up (the bike) I’m not spinning any more. The spinning is stopping. To ride like this, I really enjoy. Together with Le Mans it’s one of the first times.

"In the past with other manufacturers when we had quite a lot of grip, for my team-mates it was sometimes a big problem and they didn't know how to manage this extra grip. But for me it was a huge advantage.

"They had problems in the front, pushing and quite a low stability. But for me, I can manage with good grip. Some people are fast with low grip, but I'm fast with good grip."

Underlining the need for Honda to improve rear grip was that the four RCV riders all picked the softest trye for the race. The only other rider on the soft was rookie Enea Bastianini (Avintia Ducati).

"One stage I was even catching my brother and Alex [Rins] but the rear tyre gave up. The four Hondas were almost the only ones using the soft tyre on the rear, which shows the situation we are in is not the same as the others," Espargaro explained.

"At the end, we knew our possibilities with the soft rear tire, which was to enjoy more until the middle of the race. Then kind of see what happens and survive after it.

"Our right-hand side of the tyre was completely dead after a little bit more than half distance. It was impossible to especially make the fast corner entry. The fast corners with higher speed, the rear was locking quite a lot, moving.

"For sure, I wanted more because I think I had the speed of the top guys, for sure not Quartararo, but to be in the podium."

Nonetheless, "I think we did the correct tyre choice [for us]. But it should not be the correct choice when all the other manufacturers, the winning guys, were using the medium rear.

"Through all the weekend they were going fast with the medium and we couldn’t. It was dangerous for us. We were missing a lot of grip so we needed to use the soft. This put us in a critical situation that means that we are missing grip. It’s something that we know, but here it was obvious.

"So, we are working on it and I think we will solve the problem soon. Hopefully as soon as possible, if not next year. Sure, it’s our weak point at the moment."

Although the rear grip problems might take until next year to fully fix, team manager Alberto Puig believes the Silverstone performance was an important moment for Espargaro.

“This weekend has been a very important turning point for Pol Espargaró. I think he has made a massive step compared to what he has been doing so far throughout 2021," Puig said. "I think that the way he approached the race was very good and he was able to show his potential, his real potential.

"Pol is a rider who can be in these positions, so we hope from now on he can continue in this way and keep making progress. We are very happy for him inside the team and HRC, it has been difficult for him, and he deserved this good result.

"He was fantastic during qualifying to take pole position and although he was of course aiming for the podium in the race, he has been able to make an important step and return to his old form.”

Team-mate Marc Marquez crashed out after tangling with Jorge Martin on the opening lap, leaving Alex Marquez to finish as the next best Honda rider in eighth place.