After being left 17th and last following a fall in the wet qualifying session at the Sachsenring, Toni Elias reached eighth place within 11 laps of the race.
A protracted battle with former team-mate Marco Melandri ensued, for what became sixth after Andrea Dovizioso's tyre troubles, and Elias came out on top by less than half a second to repeat his season-best result from Laguna Seca two weeks ago.
“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!” smiled Toni. “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,” concluded the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider.
“Toni could not possibly have done more from last place on the grid,” admitted team manager Fausto Gresini.