The Spanish rider secured his second-ever MotoGP rostrum and the first for Aprilia in the modern era when he fended off Ducati’s Jack Miller to finish third in last weekend’s British Grand Prix.

This podium followed comments made by Espargaro earlier in the weekend that Maverick Vinales’ arrival at Aprilia will prove he is one of the top three riders in MotoGP.

When asked by Motorsport.com if his Silverstone podium was important given the reaction those comments drew, Espargaro moved to clarify exactly what he meant – noting that he is riding at a top three level on the current grid.

“I mean I never said I was one of the top three riders in MotoGP,” Espargaro began.

“What I said is that I felt at that moment right now I’m riding in a very high level, in the top three in the current MotoGP class. I truly believe that it’s like this.

“But this is a sport where you have to also have a good bike to prove it.

“Today [Sunday] we had better speed than third position, I was really convinced to try to follow Fabio [Quartararo] but I didn’t have the pace that I did in the warm-up or on Saturday because it was very cold and with the medium front I didn’t have the pace.

“When I saw Fabio changed the front for the soft I was doubting a lot because I made my lap times braking very, very hard.

“In the end, the safer option was to stay on the medium.

“Anyway, I’m proving I’m riding good, in a good level. My bike is improving a lot, but Aprilia is still not a winning bike. So, I think I’m in a good shape riding.”

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Espargaro went on to add that he currently doesn’t see anybody is faster than him other than runaway championship leader Quartararo.

“What makes me happy is this podium didn’t arrive in a wet race or because somebody crashed,” he said.

“We’ve been knocking the door many races this year. This is what makes me happy, is that we’re strong.

“Actually, when the engine stopped at Le Mans I was in the top five. When the engine stopped in Austria, I also was very strong in a very difficult situation for me and I was convinced I could fight for the podium there as well.

“So, Silverstone is not a special track, we are competitive everywhere.

“I’m sure if we didn’t have these engine problems we would also would be able to fight for the top three in the championship because if you look at the points we are not that far.

“So, hopefully in the next few races we can confirm this. I know it’s not going to be easy, it’s not automatic that I will be fighting for the podium every race.

“But I think we are closer than ever, and as I said before I think every rider in MotoGP class is quite equal right now except Fabio who is one step farther than the rest.

“But I don’t see anybody is faster than me right now apart from him. So, hopefully I will be in the podium in the next races as well.”

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