LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet has out-qualified the factory RCV riders courtesy of front row appearances at the last three events, which he has converted into fifth, fifth and fourth in the races.

As a result, the flying Frenchman is now joint-fourth on points with factory Ducati rider Nicky Hayden.

It's also paying off in terms of technical support, with HRC handing de Puniet upgraded chassis parts last time out at Catalunya - although it's worth remembering that the biggest (official) difference between the factory and satellite RCVs, at least at the start of this year, was the electronics.

"We hope to continue our good work of the recent few races," said de Puniet of this weekend's German round. "Things are going well at the moment; it's a great feeling to fight with the factory bikes and riders. And it's good to see that HRC believe in us and are giving us some parts which can make a real difference.

"We will have to wait and see how things go at the Sachsenring. It is not an easy track on a MotoGP bike, so we will have to work very carefully on Friday and Saturday to make the bike as good as it can be for full race distance."

The next best satellite rider is eighth in the championship Ben Spies (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha).