Valentino Rossi says patience was key to his return to the top six in the German Grand Prix
|By Sam Tremayne||Sunday, July 8th 2012, 16:34 GMT|
Valentino Rossi credited his late ride to sixth in the German Grand Prix to his early realisation that he had to wait for the right moment to attack.
Rossi was part of a four-way fight for sixth in the early stages of the race, but was often toward the rear of a pack that involved LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl, works Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden and the satellite Pramac Ducati of Hector Barbera.
As Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista closed and then Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow joined following an off, Rossi made his move and came through to seventh.
His attempts to pass Bradl fell just 0.2 seconds shy at the flag, but with Casey Stoner crashing out he was nevertheless able to finish sixth and collect Ducati's best finish in the dry this season.
"Today's race went a little bit better. This weekend we decided to work on a setting that was similar to the one we used at Barcelona and Estoril, in order to suffer less with the rear tyre," Rossi said.
"Although we weren't able to try it much in the dry, it turned out to be pretty effective. It allowed me to have a pace that was consistent and pretty fast until the end.
"When I realised that I didn't have the pace to escape the group I was in, I waited for the right moment to attack, and in the end, I was able to pass almost all of them.
"I tried with Bradl as well, but when I was almost next to him, they gave us the yellow flag for Stoner's crash, and I backed off because anyway, I would have had to let him back by.
"I was sixth, our best result in the dry this year, so now we'll continue in this direction. The gap to the Hondas is large, but the Yamahas were closer today. At least I'm able to brake hard and to ride at a good pace until the end."
Hayden, who went in the opposite direction and found himself 10th at the flag, said he struggled in the final five laps.
"I'm really frustrated to have been in a big battle like that, only to arrive at the end of it. For the most part, I felt just as fast as the other riders in the group and even faster in places, until about the last five laps," he said.
"Then I think I was hurt by the combination of the tyre going off and me trying too hard at the end. To arrive 10th, when fifth was just over a second in front, is hard for a racer to take."