Dani Pedrosa, still searching for his first MotoGP victory of the season, got the Sachsenring weekend off to a perfect start by leading Friday morning practice in Germany.

The Repsol Honda rider, chasing his third Sachsenring victory in a row, edged out joint title leaders Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo on his penultimate lap of the 45-minutes, held in warm and dry conditions.

Stoner, who moved level with Lorenzo last Saturday at Assen, was quickest for most of the 45-minutes before team-mate Pedrosa moved ahead by just 0.087s.

Yamaha star Lorenzo - who lost a 25-point lead, an engine and suffered stretched ankle ligaments in the turn one Assen incident - finished 0.290s from the top.

Andrea Dovizioso, on the podium twice in the last three rounds, was the top satellite ride in fourth place (+0.565s) after moving ahead of Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Cal Crutchlow on his final lap of the morning.

Pramac's Hector Barbera made a late climb up the order to be the top Ducati in sixth (+0.734s), at the expense of factory rider Nicky Hayden, who had been towards the sharp end for much of the session.

Alvaro Bautista, who will start from the back of the grid on Sunday after being penalised for his Assen collision with Lorenzo, was eighth best.

Local star and MotoGP rookie Stefan Bradl steered his LCR Honda to ninth and Lorenzo's factory team-mate Ben Spies completed a top ten covered by 0.996s.

Valentino Rossi was a lowly eleventh and last of the full-time manufacturer riders, lapping 0.128s from Spies and 0.729s ahead of the top CRT of Aspar's Randy de Puniet.

Colin Edwards put a nightmare Assen weekend behind him with 13th for Forward Racing, as rumours of a possible bike switch swirl, with Greisni's Michele Pirro in 14th place.

Mattia Pasini suffered a freak accident when he was dumped from his Speed Master ART after clipping a team member as he rode down pit lane. The Italian was helped for several minutes by Ducati mechanics before walking away.

Pasini's riderless bike had swerved towards the Ducati pits after he fell, while the unidentified team member (wearing white) looked to have escaped harm. Pasini was later declared fit to continue.

Cardion AB Ducati's Karel Abraham, who missed the British MotoGP weekend and then withdrew from race day at Assen due to left hand injuries sustained in testing at Aragon, has been replaced by Ducati test rider Franco Battaini this weekend.

39-year-old Battaini, a veteran of the former 250cc class who also spent one season in MotoGP with WCM in 2005, survived one off-track moment on his way to 18th place out of the 21 riders.

Friday practice (1):

1. Dani Pedrosa
2. Casey Stoner
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Andrea Dovizioso
5. Cal Crutchlow
6. Hector Barbera
7. Nicky Hayden
8. Alvaro Bautista
9. Stefan Bradl
10. Ben Spies
11. Valentino Rossi
12. Randy De Puniet
13. Colin Edwards
14. Michele Pirro
15. Yonny Hernandez
16. Aleix Espargaro
17. Ivan Silva
18. Franco Battaini
19. Mattia Pasini
20. Danilo Petrucci
21. James Ellison


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