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.

"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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