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Last Updated: Friday, 13 July 2007, 22:28 GMT 23:28 UK
Steve Parrish's MotoGP column
Steve Parrish
By Steve Parrish
BBC motorbikes commentator

Valentino Rossi
Rossi got back to winning ways at Assen last time out

Last year's German Grand Prix at Sachsenring was a stunner that was the closest ever top-four finish in MotoGP history.

The first four riders over the line were separated by just 0.307 seconds and it could have been even closer if Kenny Roberts Jr hadn't taken someone out on the last bend.

If we have a finish like that again we will all go home happy.

The big question ahead of Sunday's race is will Valentino Rossi capitalise on his crucial win at Assen last time out?

That was a performance that was classic Rossi. His win felt like equilibrium had returned to the season after some unpredictable results and conditions.

We managed to get a race in without a deluge of rain, which was a bit of shock!

But there wouldn't have been shock in the paddock to see Rossi back on the top of the podium.

Sachsenring MotoGP
Qualifying: Saturday, BBCi and BBC Sport website, 1245 BST
MotoGP Extra: Sunday, BBCi and BBC Sport website, 0945 BST
Race: Sunday, BBC TWO and BBC Sport website, 1230 BST

Championship leader Casey Stoner finished second and he knows that he couldn't have caught Rossi.

Credit to the young Australian, though, as he showed impressive maturity to hold on to second.

What Rossi really needs now, though, is for Stoner to finish way down the points so he can start eating into his lead.

Sachsenring is a track that could help the Italian do that as it's full of twists and turns that could help his agile Yamaha.

His Michelin tyres seem to have worked better in hotter conditions and we are set fair for the weekend, so this really could be an interesting race.

It was a big relief to see defending champion Nicky Hayden finishing third in Holland.

He has had a disastrous season so far, but we started to see the first shoots of his recovery at Donington three weeks ago.

It's as if he bit the bullet at Donington, put all his troubles to one side and went for it.

Nicky Hayden
Hayden made a welcome return to the podium at Assen last time

Perhaps he has finally got to grips with his Honda and is more comfortable with the bike - whatever the reason, he is a changed rider and one to watch out for again.

I find the race at Sachsenring one of the most enjoyable of the season as I can fly my plane over from the UK almost direct to the track.

I flew my fellow commentator Charlie Cox and presenter Suzi Perry to an airstrip only three miles away from the circuit. No queuing or hassle at Heathrow for us!

We had breakfast at my house and then enjoyed a lovely flight that took us right over a beautiful mountain range.

This race has never been flavour of the year amongst MotoGP fans and I don't know why.

It's in a lovely part of Germany, the beer is cheap and we are set for a great race - what more could you want?

1. Rossi 2. Hayden 3. Stoner

You can now watch MotoGP races live on this website (UK users only).

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