Quartararo’s hopes of repeating his podium in the Saturday Sprint were instantly dented when he wheelied at the start of the grand prix, causing the Monster Yamaha rider to sink from fourth to twelfth.

Zarco suffered a similar demotion, from eighth to 14th, but was looking to overtake Quartararo by lap 3.

But disaster struck when Quartararo lowsided through the fast Turn 7 kink just as Zarco was lining up a pass, leaving the Pramac Ducati rider with nowhere to go.

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“I crashed and I twisted my elbow, so I have to keep it in a sling for the time being,” said Quartararo. “[The elbow] should not take too long to heal and the foot I will have to check, but normally I will have to make surgery on the toe. I will be in a little bit of pain for a few weeks.

“I made a mistake at the start. I didn’t want to make a normal start, I wanted to make a perfect start and getting too close to perfect, I made a totally bad start!

“I released the clutch a little bit too fast then I had a wheelie. So I lost a lot of positions and then I just tried to do like in the morning [fastest in warm-up], but I lost the front in turn 7.

“Right now it's pretty painful,” Quartararo added. “If the race was now, I think I would take a rest! But we have one and half months until Silverstone. Nothing is broken.”

The grand prix exit aside, Quartararo had been back to his best during the Assen weekend, culminating in the Sprint ‘podium’, following Brad Binder’s post-race penalty on Saturday.

“Forgetting what I have on the left side of my body, it has been a positive weekend,” Quartararo smiled.

“Great qualifying, great Sprint race, great speed. Even if I'm injured, I feel like I have been riding at my best.”

Team-mate Franco Morbidelli finished in ninth place.

Zarco: “The moment I opened the throttle he lost the front”

The unlucky Zarco, who rushed to check on Quartararo’s condition in the gravel trap, didn’t escape unscathed either, with pain in his right hand.

“I need to see if my right hand will get big or not because there’s still some pain around the fingers. But I'm OK,” said the Pramac rider.

“I could see from the first lap that it was tricky with the grip for everyone. So I said, ‘OK, the pace can be good. Race is long. I will come back’.

“I could see Fabio struggling a lot, so I tried to overtake him in turn 1, but he crossed the line and then his bike was moving a lot in turn 6. So I prepared to be quite fast in turn 7 and then try to overtake him in turn 8.

“But the moment I opened the throttle he lost the front. I was so close to him that I could not avoid the bike and we crashed pretty fast. We both walked away. But it seems he got the injury on the left elbow and still the left foot is painful for him.”