Randy de Puniet saw an impressive fifth on the grid go to waste when he was taken out by Valentino Rossi on the opening lap of Saturday's Dutch TT.

As the riders filed into the slow left-hand Horseshoe turn for the first time Rossi, eager to regain ground after a slow start, lost control of his Yamaha and collected de Puniet.

The Italian was able to restart, but de Puniet was left to hobble away with a sore leg.

"We deserve a lot better than this," sighed the Frenchman. "Since the beginning of this weekend my pace was consistently fast and I could stay with the top five riders today.

"I made a very good start and was in the fifth position when Rossi crashed and I was 'in the wrong place at the wrong time'. We both went in the gravel but he rejoined the race. Probably he arrived too fast and lost the rear hitting my bike.

"I'm very disappointed because we could have fought for a good result here," added the LCR Honda rider, who has taken a best finish of ninth so far this season.

Rossi, whose bike was damaged, recovered to eleventh place by the chequered flag and later apologised to both de Puniet and his team.