Two performances, a year apart, helped inspire Valentino Rossi to a podium finish in the German MotoGP.

The first was by Jonas Folger, who battled Marc Marquez for victory as a rookie at the Sachsenring in 2017, riding a satellite Yamaha.

The second was Rossi's half-brother Luca Marini, who took his first grand prix podium in the Moto2 class just before Sunday's MotoGP race.

Rossi, who recovered from a lowly 17th place in Friday practice, said:

"We worked hard in some important areas and I know that P17 from Friday was not my place because we tried something to improve the acceleration, but it didn’t work.

"P6 [in qualifying] was more or less my pace so this morning in warm-up I was not so bad and I did a good lap time but I was P9, so here the level is very balanced and you have a lot of different bikes and different riders that can be fast.

"In the race it is different, you have to be stronger in other areas.

"I tried to concentrate a lot and I was ready today especially after the podium by my brother in Moto2, Luca, so I had to do a great congratulations to him.

"He gave me extra power and extra motivation to try to do the same."

Marini, who joined Rossi's VR46 team at the start of this season, has improved steadily during since his full-time grand prix debut in 2016.

Despite the ongoing effects of a shoulder dislocation, Marini took his first front row start at the previous Assen round, then went one better with second on the grid at Sachsenring, where he rode to third position in his 45th GP appearance.

"For sure it is something special, the first time," Rossi said of Marini's podium.

"I tried to help my brother a lot during his career and I feel very much a part of it.

"Also I pushed a lot for him to jump on the Moto2 early, because he is very tall like me, taller than me. He wanted to continue in Moto3 because maybe he didn’t trust himself enough to be able to ride the Moto2.

"He also suffered a lot after dislocating his shoulder after Qatar, but he’s worked well and I am so happy and so proud."

Marini said: "I'm really happy. On Thursday I did not even know if I would be competitive on the long run due to the shoulder injury and now I have just come down from the podium.

"An almost perfect weekend, we worked hard from the free practices, made a big step in qualifying and I have to thank all the team and the people who have supported me in these years.

"To reach the top it is important to start from the first steps and not stop, but continue with commitment and belief."

Returning to his own race, Rossi admitted he had carefully studied Folger's shock performance of a year ago.

"It was very important to look at Folger’s race because firstly mentally I arrived here last year and I was not comfortable with the bike so I was already not strong enough," said the Italian.

"But Folger last year didn’t know it was a difficult track for the Yamaha and he did a fantastic race at the level of Marc as he stayed there in the fight.

"So I studied everything of Folger, all the race, all the lines and which way he raced the bike, which way he set-up the bike. Everything.

"I think it was a good help for me from Folger last year, so we have to give him the trophy!"

Folger withdrew from racing at the start of this season, due to severe fatigue issues, but has recently been testing a 2019 Moto2 machine for Kalex.

Rossi meanwhile remains second in the MotoGP World Championship, but has dropped another five points to Marquez.

The Repsol Honda title leader beat Rossi by 2.196s to claim his ninth successive win at the Sachsenring and takes a 46-point championship lead into the summer break.

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