It wasn't as bad as Assen, but Valentino Rossi again felt that he lost out due to the changing weather in Germany.

At Assen Rossi had been forced to pit at the end of the formation lap when he realised a slick tyre gamble would backfire. At the Sachsenring, which also saw rain just before the race, Rossi joined most riders in planning to start on wets - only to again release during the formation lap that it was the wrong choice.

Rossi wasn't alone. No less than 14 riders pulled in to change from their wet to dry bikes, then rushed to form a disorderly pack waiting to be released at the end of pit lane, once those that had taken the normal race start had passed turn one.

"The rain was confusing today. Like in Assen we were unlucky with the weather. It rained just after the beginning of the race, but later the track started to dry. We had everybody starting from the pit so it was very difficult and also very dangerous," said Rossi.

13th and three places behind eventual winner Marc Marquez at the end of lap one, Rossi moved into fourth place on lap seven, just as the Repsol Honda rider took the lead. But Rossi couldn't advance any further and ultimately finished ten seconds behind team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who completed the podium alongside Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

"I was in a quite good position, but I didn't have enough pace to fight for the podium," Rossi admitted. "I knew that it would be very difficult to beat our rivals here. I hoped to stay with Jorge but today he was faster than us and I arrived fourth."

The result means that Rossi has dropped to third in the world championship, seven points behind Pedrosa as the series starts its mid-season break.

"I'm quite happy about the first half of the season. I already got five podiums and four second places. I'm sad that I was not able to win, but I am quite fast and competitive. We have to continue like this and try to beat Marquez," Rossi declared.

After the opening nine rounds of last season Rossi was fourth in the championship with 117 points, compared to this year's 141. However his four podiums included a win at Assen.

The nine time world champion recently signed a new two-year Yamaha contract.