A fifth place in the intense Assen battle means that Valentino Rossi and Yamaha have now gone over one calendar year without a MotoGP victory.

They have also matched the 18-race win drought of 2002-2003, before Rossi joined the team in 2004.

But this weekend's German Grand Prix isn't the easiest venue on paper for Yamaha to return to winning ways.

Marc Marquez and Honda have been victorious at the Sachsenring for the last five years.

Meanwhile Rossi was fifth, just behind team-mate Maverick Vinales, in last year's race and hasn’t won at the venue since 2009.

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"Assen was an incredible race, so I really want to get back on track again," said Rossi, second in the world championship, but a distant 41 points from Marquez.

"I don't know if we can repeat a race like that at the Sachsenring, but we'll try to do everything to be at the front with the top riders," Rossi said.

"Last year's German GP was not a very positive weekend for us, so it will be very important to understand our potential this weekend.

"We will have to work hard, starting from the first practice session on Friday, to get ready for the race, but I'm confident. I feel good and my team are working really well.

"The race at the Sachsenring is the last race before the short MotoGP summer break, so we want to do our best to make it a good battle on Sunday, to end the first half of the season in a good way."

Team director Massimo Meregalli added: "The Sachsenring suits our bike reasonably well, however, bike set-up plays a vital role there.

"To match the settings to the track's narrow nature, we need to start the weekend in the right manner on Friday.

"Last year we finished just off the podium, so this year it's our goal to rectify this and to continue the work done at the last race."

An interesting rumour to emerge since Assen is that Rossi might sign Vinales' current crew chief Ramon Forcada, should Vinales hire a new chief engineer for 2019.

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