When Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales ran wide while battling with six laps of to go, it put Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi at the front of Sunday's daring Dutch MotoGP race.

Rossi then passed the Ducati rider at the final chicane, putting the Yamaha star on course to end a win drought stretching back to the same event last year.

But pre-race favourite Marquez overtook both Dovizioso and Rossi in a single move, then quickly broke clear, taking his fourth victory of the season by 2.3s.

Rossi meanwhile was left to settle for fifth place after tangling with Dovizioso on the penultimate lap.

"It was a very hard race. Very strong and very exciting," said Rossi.

"First of all I'm happy to be there, fighting for all the race, because it was a great race to see. We fight very strong with everybody. 

"But for sure I'm a bit sad because I think that I can arrive on the podium but at the end I arrive fifth."

With Rossi's team-mate Vinales crossing the line in third, Yamaha's losing streak now stands at 18 races. 

But - like many riders - Rossi felt Marquez always had something in hand.

"Like I said during practice, Marquez was the stronger and today he fought, but he had a margin and at the end when he decided to go, he arrived alone. 

"It's difficult because he is faster than us, but also faster than everybody else. 

"So I think for the championship it will be very hard, but I think for the same reason that we have a great fight for the second place, with another two or three riders minimum. 

"We have to try and also we hope that we can improve the bike during the season, but it's not very easy.

"Sincerely during this weekend we were competitive, because this track is good for the M1 and we can use some good things of the bike. Some strong points. 

"I think that with both me and Maverick we have the potential to arrive on the podium today. But it's difficult. At the end of the race I was more competitive than in the last race, it's true, but we suffer. 

"In acceleration we are not strong enough and we have to work, so I hope that we can improve the bike. The season is still long and this year the bike is very good to ride, but in acceleration we need to make a step."

Rossi also felt the unusually stable (and sunny) Assen weather had played into Yamaha's hands, rather than helping Marquez and Honda.

"For me, the good conditions helped us more than him! Because we have always a lot of work to do.

"Marquez, after three laps on Friday morning, made a '34.4. So it means that he can just make the warm-up and the race, with one lap for qualifying!"
Rossi remains second in the world championship, but has now dropped 41 points from Marquez and is only six points clear of Vinales.