MotoGP world championship leader Dani Pedrosa began his quest for a fourth successive German Grand prix victory with a close third place, just 0.191s from home hero Stefan Bradl, in Friday practice.

The Repsol Honda rider spent some laps with the hard rear tyre but unsurprisingly posted his fastest time on the soft option.

"Today we focused on tyres, in order to find out what the ideal choice will be for Sunday's race and lately we have had some problems with the compounds being a little harder than normal," said Pedrosa.

Related Articles

"I had time to test all the options and in general things went well. However, tomorrow we have to find a slightly better set-up for cornering."

Speaking before it was confirmed that nearest title rival Jorge Lorenzo - second quickest on Friday - has withdrawn from the event after further injuring his broken collarbone, Pedrosa added:

"As for Jorge, let's see how his condition is before commenting - we still don't know details. At the moment it doesn't look good for him, so I wish him well."

Pedrosa holds a nine point advantage over Lorenzo.

Rookie team-mate Marc Marquez is also chasing his fourth Sachsenring win in succession, having won the most recent 125cc and then Moto2 races. Marquez was fifth quickest but just 0.221s from former Moto2 rival Bradl.

"The day has been very positive and I'm very happy with how practice has gone so far, as I have been slowly improving," said Marquez. "From the start I felt very comfortable - with it being a smaller circuit, the speed isn't so different compared to when you're riding a Moto2 bike.

"Of course, you reach your braking markers quicker and you have to use new references, but it isn't that different to other circuits. This helps me to adapt a little more quickly. We have been working hard, but there are still some places on the track where I have to improve, be more consistent and find a good setup. Tomorrow we will try to continue in the same way, just as focused.

"I am sorry to see Jorge suffer another big crash, we wait to hear news and I send him my best wishes."