Valentino Rossi clinched an important podium at the Sachsenring to increase his MotoGP championship advantage over team-mate Jorge Lorenzo heading into the summer break.

Rossi gained a further three points over Lorenzo, who finished behind the nine-times world champion in a lonely fourth position at the German round on Sunday.

However, the Movistar Yamaha rider stresses that his job is only half completed and is anticipating a 'very hard' second part of the championship as he bids for a sensational tenth world crown.

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As well as Lorenzo, The Doctor also expects reigning champion Marc Marquez to be 'very strong' after sealing his second win of the year on Sunday. Marquez is currently 65 points from Rossi with nine rounds to go.

"This result is very important because I extend three points on Jorge, but especially to arrive in front of him in the race is important and to have a small advantage at the end of the first part of the championship," said Rossi, who has 179 points to Lorenzo's 166.

"I am happy but I know that the battle will be very hard in the second half. We don't want to make any stupid mistakes, also because [Marc] Marquez is now quite far in the championship but second half he will be very strong.

"In the second half of the season there are some tracks where our M1 is very competitive; we can fight, but first we can enjoy the holidays and a little bit of relax with a good podium."

Rossi knew from Friday's free practice that he would struggle to match the pace of the Honda riders, but a modification for the braking of his M1 during morning warm-up boost his chances in the race and he threatened Dani Pedrosa for second place until the final laps, when the Repsol Honda star had more in reserve to pull away.

"Friday we understand that here we are not at the same level of Marquez and Pedrosa and the Honda - we suffer a bit," he said.

"But we work well and especially after the warm-up we made the right decision because we modified and tried something different to be stronger in braking and it was great work by my team because my bike was very good for the race.

"I understand from the beginning so I start to push, so a good race and I was able to enjoy it. I was able to overtake Dani and had a good battle with Jorge, but from behind I understand that I was a little bit faster so I think that I have to push at the maximum to try to make a gap from Jorge," he added.

"After with Dani was difficult but I think that the best part of the race for me was the moment that Dani overtook me and I go with him because I know that it can help me a lot to make distance from Jorge.

"Dani rode very well and I also learned some very good lines. At one moment I thought that maybe I can start to fight with him for the second place and this would be important if I could put Dani between me and Jorge, but in the same moment that I think, Dani go," Rossi said.

"So I did not have the problem to think of the risk to overtake or not because he was too strong."