Nicky Hayden wrapped up sixth place at Assen for Ducati at the Dutch MotoGP, despite running off the track on lap one.

Hayden out-braked himself at the chicane and ran into the gravel, but the American rider was able to re-join the race and was battling with team-mate Valentino Rossi and Hector Barbera for sixth.

The 2006 Assen winner was ahead of Rossi when the Italian began to drop away with tyre problems, and got the better of Barbera for the final time with six laps to go.

"I got a pretty good start and stayed out of the mess in turn one, but then I braked too deep in the chicane and went through the gravel," Hayden said.

"I almost lost the train, but I charged and was able to catch the group again. My bike felt pretty decent, and I got back in front of those guys.

"I was fighting with [Cal] Crutchlow and [Hector] Barbera. After Cal passed, Hector made a big mistake in the chicane and I almost hit him," he added.

"Valentino and some of the others had tyre problems, but mine hung in there better than some."

The former world champion conceded that his final position was boosted by the demise of Jorge Lorenzo and Stefan Bradl, but said his team deserved the result for their hard work over the weekend.

"It would be nice not to have made that mistake on lap one, but I know if I want to go with that group, I've got to go at 100 per cent.

"A couple guys fell down, which helped me to get sixth place, but that's racing," said Hayden.

"It hasn't been an easy weekend, but the guys have really worked hard, and hopefully soon we can really do a good result."