MotoGP World Championship leader Valentino Rossi is confident he can maintain his title momentum in the second part of the season, following the summer break.

The Movistar Yamaha rider again finished on the podium at the Sachsenring in Germany, crucially crossing the line ahead of team-mate Jorge Lorenzo to extend his lead at the top of the series to 13 points after the first nine rounds.

Rossi finished strongly on the M1 last year and with a raft of circuits remaining on the calendar where the Italian is traditionally strong, the 36-year-old believes he has given himself every chance of landing an incredible tenth world title.

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"I think after the break [there are] three tracks where Marc [Marquez] but also Jorge are very strong, in Indy - but also here last year was a good race for me - and Brno, where for me we have to see, and Silverstone [where] Marc and Jorge are very strong," Rossi said.

"Misano I like, Aragon I don't know and the last race tracks I like a lot, so I think it is equal but we have to see because every weekend is different and we can have some small things that happen, some small details that can move the balance from one rider to another rider.

"Last year I did a very good second half of the season but this year I think we are stronger because the bike is better, so I think we can fight for the victory, yes."

Assessing the opening nine rounds of the championship, Rossi highlighted the first race in Qatar as his standout moment so far, with his home race at Mugello proving more disappointing for the Yamaha rider than any other, even though he made it onto the rostrum in third.

"The best for me was the victory in Qatar, the first one, because it was a great race and I enjoyed a lot the last lap and the victory," he said.

"It was a great battle in the last laps [with Andrea Dovizioso] and I don't know if I was able to win, so that was the best moment. To win the first race is important.

"The worst moment I think was Mugello - that I think was the worst weekend of the season. It was the race where we don't work at the maximum and especially I wasn't able to ride at 100 per-cent and for me it was also Mugello, which is important," added Rossi, who rated his performance this season so far with a score of eight out of ten after being asked for a number in the post-race press conference.

Looking ahead to the summer break, with the series returning at Indianapolis in the USA on August 9, Rossi said: "It is important to relax in this one week, 10 days because for me personally I work a lot in this first part of the season, never stop, to stay at a good level so I need a little bit [of rest].

"We leave in a good place so we will stay with the friends and the family and just relax and after we have two races in a row, so it is important anyway to start to prepare soon."


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I'm with you 100%

It's rare I post on here these days, I used to all the time but got fed up of the haters and bashers so just read comments and you have to laugh at some of them.

Now I am a big Rossi fan, watched every single qualifying and race for the past 15 years so I have seen Rossi's whole career, been to a few races too.

I would say Rossi is virtually back to his best, will he win the champoinship this year? I say yes because I think he can win at least another 3 races possibly more, if not then he will be on the podium for most if not all the remainder of races left.

His racecraft is second to none and this is what will get him through, apart from this last race, his race pace is as good as anyone's.

So barring him mucking up qualifying and any injuries I can not see him losing too many points to MM or JL, this season has been a good one and who ever wins the title will have worked hard for it and in my eyes has beaten some bloody good talent

Shireling: still, he couldn't get the best of Pedrosa.
How do we explain that?[\blockquote]
Honda track