Onto the penultimate lap and Rossi ran a touch wide, which was all Gibernau needed and before the Italian could correct himself the Catalan was alongside – and underneath. Clearly desperate to retaliate Rossi almost ran into the back of the blue Honda shortly after running wide yet again, but as the final lap began he was back on the #15's rear wheel.
Gibernau kept the lead for the first half of the lap before Rossi made a gutsy outbraking move at the bottom of the hill and somehow held his RCV on the racing line to prevent Sete cutting inside.
But it wasn't over yet and Gibernau was soon climbing all over the back of the orange RCV – and actually drew alongside through the final fast left-right sequence.
With both riders sliding their rear Michelins onto the start-finish straight, Gibernau looked to have the better drive - but Rossi ducked behind his fairing and clung on by 0.4secs, punching the air fiercely as he laid his Sachsenring ghosts to rest – while Sete slammed his head into the fuel tank in anger, before regaining his usual composure and politely congratulating his opponent.
Bayliss duly took another well-deserved podium to give Ducati some consolation after Capirossi's demise, while Checa rode consistently to fourth ahead of former team-mate Biaggi and Hayden.
Edwards was top Aprilia in twelfth, Pitt surprise top Kawasaki in sixteenth – just ahead of Suzuki's John Hopkins – while both WCMs, and Proton KRs, failed to finish.
Rossi's slow down lap saw possibly one of his most bizarre post race celebrations to date as members of his fan club – dressed as chain-gang prisoners in black and white stripped clothes, attached a fake ball and chain to Rossi's leg, then gave him a pick axe with which to hit a large rock…!
The podium celebrations were of equal magnitude as a clearly relived Rossi smiled from ear-to-ear as he took his fourth winner's trophy of the year, then ran to soak his team (still with ball and chain attached) after Sete did his best to drown the 24-year-old with his runner-up's bottle of Frexinet.
Rossi and Gibernau now have four wins each, but the Italian has extended his championship lead back up to 34 with six rounds to go.
Full results to follow...