Starting the race from seventh on the grid, Yamaha Racing's Valentino Rossi slotted into fifth place storming towards turn 1, and quickly fought his way to fourth past his teammate, Maverick Vinales.
He then withstood the pressure the young Spaniard put on him in the opening laps, as he chased the leading trio.
The Doctor reached the back of Marc Marquez's bike on lap eight, bringing Zarco with him, but encountered a set-back.
A block pass from the fellow Yamaha rider pushed the Italian back to sixth behind the chasing Dani Pedrosa.
Running wide in turn 1, with 15 laps to go, Rossi soon fell back behind Viñales to seventh.
He was eager to follow his teammate, but was unable to keep up a consistent pace in the high 1.24s and low 1.25s, and decided to focus on bringing home his bike in seventh place, 8.995s from first.
"Today the problems started after ten or twelve laps,” he explained. “Unfortunately, we stressed the rear tyre too much, so the rear tyre dropped a lot and we lost a lot of performance and speed. From that moment on it was very difficult to control the bike and I also made a mistake on the brakes.”
“I didn't have the pace in the second half of the race, I suffered too much from a lack of grip. It's a shame because we worked a lot, but it looks like it's the same problem as we had in Jerez and Barcelona. When we use the rear tyre too much, the bike becomes slower and more difficult to ride in the second half of the race. For sure we have to work a lot mechanically and also on the electronics to improve this problem."
The team will have a private test at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli next week on Sunday, August 20th. After that the team will be back in action in two weeks' time for the Octo British Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit