Not counter-intuitive if you think about what really wears to cause a need for valve adjustment. Wear between the cam lobe and the rocker (where you stick the feeler gauge) is not normally significant. Especially with the chilled iron cam and carbide faced rockers in the .951 and .952 motors, and not even in the older .950 motors with softer cams and plain iron (steel?) rockers. Anyway....
The real wear that's happening is the valve wears into it's seat a little bit over time, and as it does, the spring is always pulling the valve farther and farther toward the cam as the valve face receeds into the seat. As the valve stem tip moves toward the cam, so does the rocker pad. That's why valve clearances close up over time.
One more element coming into play has to do with the reason why exhaust valves have greater clearance than intakes. The reason for this lies in a few things. One - you set clearances when the valves are relatively cool (compared to the temp of those valves after you've been strafing the autobahn for four hours at 150kph). Two - the valve stems get longer as they heat up. And Three - exhaust valves get hotter than intakes do since they're always surrounded by hot gasses where the intakes get a continual cool intake air bath. So as a result, in order for clearances to be optimal under normal running conditions, you have to set the exhausts to a wider clearance when cold, allowing them to come into about the same clearance as the intakes when everything's up to temp.
IF the valve clearances opened up with wear, the only risk would be a little loss of power. But since they close up, the potential problem is far more insideous. Eventually, the valve receeds so far (and don't forget that the valve gets longer and the clearance gets even LESS than you measure cold, when the engine is hot) into the seat that when conditions are hottest, the rocker pad will actually ride the cam FULL TIME - with no clearance at all. This is where the real trouble begins.
The only way the exhaust valves can be cooled is by contact with the seat in the head. The water running through the head cools the seats and the seats cool the valves. If the rocker isn't clearing the cam, then the valve is never gaining full intimate contact with the seat and never getting properly cooled. SO the hotter valve grows longer, eventually lifting off the seat at some small point, getting no cooling at all, and in a VERY short time, burned valves, eroded seats, loss of compression, and very expensive repairs come into the picture.
Long story short, maintaining proper valve clearance is VERY important. UNderstanding just what's going on in there is maybe the most powerful motivator to keep after those clearances at proper intervals.[
All the best,