Throughout practice, qualifying and the MotoGP sprint race, Bezzecchi proved unbeatable for the rest of the grid.

And after lining up from pole for the main Grand Prix, chances of Bezzecchi completing an Assen clean sweep appeared to be very high.

However, just like seven days prior at Sachsenring when Bagnaia found a big step forward to become a real threat, but unlike the German MotoGP, Bagnaia turned his improvements into victory.

Bezzecchi used the soft rear tyre to gain an advantage in the sprint, and although he felt as though racing a full-length race was possible on the same compound, it’s a gamble the Italian didn’t want to take.

Asked if getting through on Brad Binder for P2 prior to Bagnaia opening up a one second lead would have changed the outcome, Bezzecchi told "I don’t know because Pecco was stronger than me with the medium [rear tyre]. 

"I already knew that I could race with the soft but it was too big of a risk. I didn’t want to throw everything in the bin because this weekend we were having a really good time. 

"So I put the medium as well but I knew that I could suffer a bit more. The problem was that to pass Brad meant I struggled a lot with the front pressure. 

"I spent some laps behind them and I lost a few metres but then I gained again. 

"Then I prepared very well the overtake and was able to pass him finally. As soon as I got in front of him, I could break away before I had a problem with the bike."

Arguably his best circuit on the calendar, Bezzecchi’s results backed up a P2 finish during his rookie season. 

Speaking about his memories of Assen which go way beyond him racing at the Dutch TT, Bezzecchi added: "At this track I had very good memories, aside from the result from last year. Also when I was very young, my mum and my dad were coming here and bringing us to see races with my sister. And for me it was fantastic. 

"I really remember the grandstands didn’t have any barriers, so you could be really close to the track. I was already following Vale a lot, he was my idol. 

"I was dreaming to ride on that track. Now to be here, fighting for podiums, victories, it’s amazing. It’s a place that I really like."