Dani Pedrosa admitted that he was surprised to have finished second in the Dutch TT, following a remarkable turnaround from a difficult build up to the Assen round of the MotoGP World Championship this week.
The Honda rider rose to second in the standings, 47 points behind race-winner Jorge Lorenzo thanks to his third podium finish of the season.
But the 24-year-old struggled throughout practice with inconsistent handling and placed a distant seventh on the grid - his warm-up time this morning was an improvement on his best qualifying attempt.
"I have to say I am surprised with the result because in practice it was a nightmare," he said. "We tried everything on the bike and nothing was really working well so...
"For the warm-up we found something else which helped us to make a better lap time, so in the race we were strong. I think especially our rhythm improved a lot from practice but I knew at the beginning with the soft tyre I had more advantage."
Pedrosa was within touching distance of passing Lorenzo during the first half of the race, but knew his opportunities would be limited as his softer tyres moved out of their optimum operating window.
"By the end I tried to follow him, but in the first section I was losing a little then lap-by-lap I lost a little bit more," said Pedrosa. "I am happy with the result, and thanks to my team because they never give up and I'm hoping the next race in Catalunya is a good one."