Sixth place result amazes Elias
Toni Elias is amazed at having been able to score a sixth place after starting from 17th and last at the Sachsenring today.
The Gresini Honda rider made steady progress through the field and was 12th after three laps and eighth after 10. He then battled with Hayate Kawasaki's Marco Melandri for the rest of the race and overtook him with a handful of laps remaining.
"To be honest I was expecting a battle just to finish in the top ten today but it ended up being much better than I could have imagined," exclaimed the Spaniard. "It was a tough race and physically I still wasn't feeling very strong but I managed to get into my rhythm and start passing riders. Once I caught up with Marco I found it difficult to get past him and my stomach pains started. I thought, 'Please no, not now!'
"I fought through the pain and over the last few laps we had a great battle, which I was able to win. I want to thank the team because they've been doing a great job and we are starting to see the fruit of our hard work. If we hadn't started from the back of the grid the result today could have been much better so that is something for us to think about for Donington, where we can go in high spirits."
Elias teammate Alex de Angelis also had a fine and steady race to end up fifth, the position from which he started on the grid.
"After showing my pace in the wet during qualifying yesterday I knew I could go fast in the dry as well and that proved to be the case," said the Italian. "This time it was nice to carry my form through to Sunday and to stay close to the guys at the front for the first time this season. I really enjoyed attacking and passing (Andrea) Dovizioso, it was a great feeling.
"This is the result we have been looking for -- we have made some important technical progress and I think that at Donington, a circuit I like with its fast corners, I can produce a similar result."
The British Grand Prix will be held next Sunday at the Donington Park circuit.