Valentino Rossi's chances of a top six finish in today's Dutch TT at Assen were thwarted after the Italian superstar was forced to make a tyre change.

Rossi had been battling for sixth position with his works Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden, but had to return to his garage after developing a terminal issue with his rear Bridgestone.

Other riders, including Yamaha's Ben Spies, also suffered major rear tyre issues - Spies saying that 'chunks' came out.

"Unfortunately a few riders experienced a problem with their rear tyre today and we sincerely apologise to those riders affected," said Bridgestone's Shinichi Yamashita.

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"We have commenced a full investigation into the matter and I will personally take the affected tyres back to Bridgestone's Technical Centre in Japan tomorrow where they will undergo detailed analysis to determine the cause of this issue."

Eventually finishing in 13th position, Rossi said: "It's a shame about today because I started quite well. I was there, having a good race, and I think I could have had a decent result.

"I was fighting with Nicky, who had passed me, but he was a little bit slower and I was waiting for a good moment to attack him again.

"I could have finished sixth, which would have given me some points to help in the standings, but we had a big problem with the tyre about 11 laps from the end.

"I had to return to the garage to change it because it was impossible to continue, so I started again with the soft and finished the race.

"We'll try again next week at the Sachsenring."