MotoGP title contender Jorge Lorenzo, who rode to a stunning third place finish just one day after suffering a separated shoulder and fractured foot at Laguna Seca, found those injuries more troublesome than he had hoped during free practice at the Sachsenring.
The Fiat Yamaha star, presently nine points behind team-mate and title leader Valentino Rossi, set the eleventh fastest lap time during the half wet/half dry session - when he also rode with an airbag safety device in his leathers for the first time.
“I am not at 100% and in fact my injuries don't feel as good as I had hoped on the bike, which is disappointing," said the 22-year-old, who was only 0.717sec behind fastest man Casey Stoner
(Ducati) and 0.408sec from third fastest Rossi.
"I have decided for the first time to use the leathers with the airbag and I want to say that I feel much more safe!
“This isn't the best track for me, the slow corners don't really suit my style and when I am not at full fitness it makes it more difficult, but today was okay considering the conditions.
“During the early part when it was wet I was reminding myself of the track, and then when it was dry later on I didn't really have enough time to go fast because we had some things to check on the setting.
“But there are 12 riders all very close together, within seven tenths of a second and I am not worried because it was a strange day and not one for making conclusions. The forecast tomorrow looks similar tomorrow but let's hope it is wrong!” he concluded.
“Today was a bit difficult because of the weather – it wasn't a normal practice that's for sure,” stated team manager Daniele Romagnoli. "We had an important test planned and in fact we changed bikes a little bit late once it was almost dry at the end, so we didn't have time afterwards to start concentrating on setting fast laps.”