Alex de Angelis was delighted to finish 'best of the rest' behind 2009 MotoGP race winners Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner in Sunday's German Grand Prix.

After just two top-ten finishes from the first eight rounds, de Angelis was on form from the start of the Sachsenring weekend, running top five pace in both wet and dry conditions.

The San Marino rider got away well from fifth on the grid, survived contact with Casey Stoner at turn one, then achieved his personal highlight of the race when he regained fifth from factory Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso on lap 7 of 30.

As the race wore on de Angelis lost contact with the four factory-backed championship leaders, but confirmed his pace by setting the fifth fastest race lap and claiming his best result of the year so far.

"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 Alex. "Obviously this is a circuit I like a lot but I was also fast in practice at Laguna Seca - unfortunately we had a technical problem there and I wasn't able to back it up with a good result.

"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," he said. "I really enjoyed attacking and passing 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," de Angelis concluded.

"We definitely did the maximum we could in this race and in general because the top four are difficult to beat for a lot of reasons," said team manager Fausto Gresini. "So this is a fantastic team result. I'm happy for Alex, who had an excellent race."

Team-mate Toni Elias finished one place and nine-seconds behind de Angelis.