Francesco Bagnaia’s late race pace in the German MotoGP saw him cap-off a brilliant recovery ride from P16 to fifth. 

Bagnaia started the race from tenth position, however, the first few laps were a struggle as he dropped six positions. 

Any chance at the top five on a circuit that is notoriously difficult to overtake on looked reasonably unlikely, but nine overtakes and a crash involving Alex Marquez and Danilo Petrucci whilst ahead of the Italian saw him do just that. 

Bagnaia said his pace started to pick up just before a quarter of the race was gone, and that the first 7-8 laps wouldn’t have made a difference in terms of losing positions had he qualified better due to a lack of ‘feeling’. 

"I think that with my feeling in the first 7-8 laps; my grid position didn’t make a difference whether first or second row. Because at the start I felt it very bad with the rear tyre, was very difficult and it wasn’t ready at the start," added Bagnaia. 

"Everytime I entering the corners I was sliding a lot and I was losing a lot of time. But after 7-8 laps everything was okay. We did an amazing job this weekend for the race distance with the tyres, and today I was doing just what I did in the past sessions. 

"The great things was that I was P16 and I overtake nine riders in a track like this. Two were crashing (A. Marquez, Petrucci), but the other ones I did a great overtakes in a track that is difficult to do overtakes. 

"And another great thing was my pace today. It was just a shame to have lost this time at the start because my pace was to finish on the podium." 

Bagnaia’s podium pace was certainly a surprise given his position during the free practice sessions. The Italian was often down by the late teens which highlights the big step made in yesterday’s 30 lap race.