It didn't quite work, but Repsol Honda boss Alberto Puig was proud of the way Marc Marquez tried time and time again to snatch victory from Francesco Bagnaia in the closing stages of Sunday's Aragon MotoGP.

"Marc did a fantastic race; he tried everything and gave everything he had until the last moment," Puig said.

Producing his most competitive race since victory at the Sachsenring, Marquez stalked Bagnaia for most of the 23 laps before launching no less than seven attempts for the lead in the closing stages.

But Bagnaia held firm and re-passed the RC213V on every occasion to claim his first MotoGP victory.

“We could understand that Pecco Bagnaia was very strong and he was not making mistakes," Puig said. "We have to congratulate him.

"The important point is that we saw that Marc’s DNA has not changed and he is always trying, even when it is nearly impossible, even when probably he knew the Ducati was stronger on the straight.

"He never gave up and for a company like Honda, it is important to have a rider like him.

"Even though he is not 100% fit, he managed to perform very well and show the spirit and determination that has brought him to where he is.”

The next best Honda rider at Aragon was LCR's Takaaki Nakagami in tenth place, 16s behind the Bagnaia-Marquez battle.

“The negative is clearly Álex Márquez’s crash and Takaaki Nakagami and Pol Espargaró being unable to be closer to the front at a circuit they both enjoy and have gone well around in the past," Puig said.

Repsol rider Espargaro arrived in Spain boosted by a pole position and fifth place at Silverstone, but found the rear grip issues that have haunted all of the Honda riders this season exacerbated by the low-grip Aragon asphalt.

“It was not easy for Pol. He was missing some important things on the bike for his riding style here and could not perform as he did in Silverstone," Puig said. "He could not stop the bike like he wanted on Sunday.

"We have to keep trying and working with him to solve these issues. There is something missing in the combination of him and the bike.”

MotoGP now moves straight on to Misano this weekend, which will be followed by a two-day test where all factories are expected to continue work for their 2022 prototypes.

“I think all the races are important, but it is true that [at Misano] we also have Stefan Bradl as a wild card and there is a MotoGP test after the Grand Prix, which in many ways is even more important for us than the race," Puig revealed.

"We have been trying to improve our machine, our engineers will use this test to gather interesting data and improve the bike for the future.”

Marquez revealed at Aragon that he has tried three different chassis designs in the past four rounds.

The 93's second podium of the season, which followed race falls in both Austria and Silverstone, has moved him back up to tenth in the world championship.