Jorge Lorenzo came home a distant 15th at Assen – a circuit that has haunted the 30-year-old since he smashed his collarbone there in 2013.
The Ducati rider had looked finally to have found the wet weather performance that deserted him last season, but with Sunday’s race bringing just enough rain to affect grip but not enough to require rain tyres, he was left at a complete loss by the lack of grip.
He said: “I wasn’t really fast in the dry, but I was really consistent and I was faster than Iannone and getting closer to the group in front.
“But when it started to spit with rain, I dropped my pace so much faster than the guys in front and I ended up in 15th. At that point, I thought that I had nothing to lose, so I took the gamble to change bikes for the wet. But it didn’t pay off and it didn’t rain any more, and the rain tyres were too soft for the conditions.
“It was a race like the ones in 2014 or 2016; unfortunately, with these changeable weather conditions I’m just not able to be fast. Weekends like that were always the worst with the Yamaha and that hasn’t changed.”