Valentino Rossi helped himself to his eighth win of the season after a fateful late mistake from Sete Gibernau in Sunday's German Grand Prix.

Valentino Rossi helped himself to his eighth win of the season after a fateful late mistake from Sete Gibernau in Sunday's German Grand Prix.

Rossi also used his 150th appearance to clinch the 76th win of his grand prix career. He has extended his 2005 championship lead to 120 points ahead of the MotoGP circus's four-week summer break.

"It was a hard race throughout, but the bike was working well," said Rossi, who moved level third with Mike Hailwood in the all-time Grand Prix winners' list. "Sete made a small mistake at the first braking marker, which is an easy thing to do at this speed, and I was able to take the lead. I don't know if I would have won if he hadn't made the mistake but I would have tried, the Italian exclaimed."

Gibernau was struck by bad luck for the second successive week on Sunday, and was resigned to finish second at the Sachsenring. His championship hopes total received a welcome boost as he ousted Rossi's team-mate, Colin Edwards, from third on the log. He is now a single point behind his team-mate Marco Melandri even though the chances of clinching the title are slim with only seven races remaining in the season.

Nicky Hayden, winner of the US round three weeks ago, celebrated his 24th birthday with a pole position and a podium spot, after fighting hard to keep ahead of his rivals.

Max Biaggi and Alex Barros were locked in a tough battle for fourth position as the 30-lap race drew to a close. Barros eventually conceded to Biaggi on the finish line, while Shinya Nakano produced his best result of the season to finish sixth. Both his Kawasaki team-mates, Alex Hofmann and Jacque Olivier, crashed out in a first corner tussle with Shane Byrne.

Marco Melandri and Colin Edwards finished seventh and eighth respectively, and Loris Capirossi, who had looked very promising in the opening laps finished ninth after experiencing problems with his rear tyre. Makoto Tamada completed the top ten.

Meanwhile, Rossi's latest victory has seen him equal the number of race wins by Mike Hailwood, often noted as "the best motorcycle racer ever". Hailwood won his first world championship at 21, and went on to win nine world championships, 76 grands prix and 14 TT races in the Isle of Man.

"I made a small flag to apologise to Mike Hailwood for matching his 76 wins in Grand Prix," Rossi admitted, "because when another rider arrives at your level it is always disappointing. Mike is one of the greatest riders ever and now I am beside him on the all-time winners' podium which is a fantastic achievement."

Original article from Car