Bradley Smith left last year's German Grand Prix eleventh in the championship, having fallen five times over the weekend and with his MotoGP future in serious doubt.

This year he heads for the summer break holding joint fifth in the world championship, after sealing another top satellite result at the Sachsenring on Sunday.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider had to fight his way through from ninth on the grid, but kept main satellite rival Cal Crutchlow behind as he raised his points score to 87. That is the same tally as Factory Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso and almost double Smith's score at this time last season.

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"I am pleased with today's performance, especially as it was a tricky race where I had to give it 100% but also remain smooth which is what you need to do with the Yamaha," he said. "We are the top satellite bike again and at the end of the 30 lap race, we had a strong advantage over both Cal and my team-mate which is really positive.

"At the same time, I can't help but be a little bit disappointed as I had a similar pace to Iannone [fourth] but I wasn't able to catch him because I lost a lot of time with Hernandez in the beginning of the race. It's my own fault as I qualified in ninth so this is an area I need to improve in the second half of the season because I know we can fight inside the top five.

"In addition, I couldn't put my left leg down at the end of the race as I had completely worn down my knee slider, which was a bit scary around here as there are so many left turns. Nevertheless, I'm pleased with the outcome. We've moved to joint fifth in the championship. It's been a great first half of the year."

Team principal Herve Poncharal added: "Bradley showed another dimension today in his fight with Cal and clearly these two riders are the fastest satellite guys. It was a big fight as they come from the same country, have the same background, sponsor as well as having both been Tech3 riders, so of course there is a big rivalry. Brad was smart and showed a lot of determination, especially when opening a gap during the final stage of the race."

While most of his rivals start the summer break, Smith and team-mate Pol Espargaro head straight for Japan and their final test before the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race.

"I am going to Japan tomorrow for another Suzuka 8 hour test, so I have the long haul flight to relax on after this race!" smiled Smith. "A big thanks to all my team, they've given me a great bike at every race so far in 2015 and I hope they enjoy the three week break as much as me."

Espargaro meanwhile left Germany with a 'bitter taste' after struggling to eighth place, ten seconds behind Smith.

"As soon as we started the GP, I realised that something wasn't quite right," the Spaniard said. "I was lacking grip on the rear and it was impossible to turn into the corners. I had to fight with the bike for the entire 30 laps using my legs to get the bike to turn.

"This is a long way from where we need to be so now we will analyse the data to ensure that this doesn't occur again. Therefore, I leave Germany with a bitter taste in my mouth for the summer, which in my case is not going to be a holiday but I am very excited to be flying straight to Suzuka for the second test for the 8 Hour race in two weeks."

Smith will start the second half of the season 21 points clear of Crutchlow and 23 in front of Espargaro. All three are out of contract at the end of this year.