Pol Espargaro made his much-anticipated return to the MotoGP paddock during the Assen weekend, albeit not in a competitive fashion after remaining sidelined.

On-track to return following the summer break, Pol will be back aboard his GASGAS Tech 3 KTM for the first time since suffering a multitude of injuries, which at the time left his career in jeopardy. 

While it was an emotional return for Pol, Aleix went on to claim his first podium of the season after inheriting third after a post-race penalty for Brad Binder.

Aleix also spoke about the emotional side of things when it comes to his brother and that having him on the grid made the Aprilia rider ‘very happy’.

Speaking to MotoGP.com, Espargaro said: "It's been very emotional to have Pol on the grid. It's not a place where I want to see him. I want to see him on the bike, fighting with him. 

"But when I saw him coming into the grid, for me it was very emotional. I know how hard has been for him, not physically because physically, he has a lot of injuries, but I mean it's part of the game. We know it.

"But mentally to be out a lot of weeks, a lot of days and doesn't know when he was able to come back. It's not easy. 

"So I'm very happy for him that he's here, that everybody in GASGAS receives him as he deserves.

"As a brother, I'm very happy for this weekend for him. Actually, he didn’t want to come. He's here for me. 

"Now I can say. I push a lot the last two weeks for him to come, and finally he said ‘OK, I will come just on Saturday’. I said, ‘OK, Saturday is good enough, but everybody wants to see you’."

Without their team leader in Pol, GASGAS Tech 3 were still able to claim another top ten finish in the hands of Augusto Fernandez, despite the rookie having early contact in the Grand Prix.

Discussing his race, Fernandez added: "I made a good start but I touched another rider, and at some point I went straight in the final chicane and went into the gravel. 

"Conditions were really hot and tough out there, I did not feel too well on the bike, so I tried to survive really, recovered as many positions as I could. 

"We scored important points, which is good to close the first half of the season. 

"We have potential for more, so our goal for the second half of the season will be to make another step, and target higher positions more regularly."