MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez moved to the top of the timesheets during Saturday morning practice for the German Grand Prix - which saw team-mate and Repsol Honda title leader Dani Pedrosa
in the Medical Centre with a suspected shoulder injury.
Just one day after nearest title rival Jorge Lorenzo
withdrew after re-damaging his newly broken collarbone, Pedrosa was launched high into the air at turn one before slamming hard into the asphalt - and instantly reaching for his own left collarbone.
The first x-rays fortunately suggest no fractures, but Pedrosa has now been transferred to Chemnitz hospital for further medical checks.
Pedrosa did not appear to be pushing and had just returned to the track after spots of rain sent all riders back to the pits in the opening minutes. His accident occurred 15 minutes into the 45-minute session, which ended with Marquez holding a 0.226s advantage over… CRT rider Aleix Espargaro!
Espargaro is undefeated in the privateer class so far this year and is certainly proving that - in his hands at least - the ART can be more than competitive against the full prototypes.
Third quickest was the lone remaining factory Yamaha of Valentino Rossi, followed by Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow and home hero Stefan Bradl, who set the Friday pace for Honda LCR.
The top ten from combined practice are granted direct entry to this afternoon's Qualifying 2 session. Unlike at Assen, Lorenzo's name has been scrubbed from the list, allowing factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso
into tenth place, but Pramac team-mates Andrea Iannone and Michele Pirro must join the CRTs (with the exception of Espargaro) in Q1.
Avintia's Hector Barbera also joined Pedrosa in the Medical Centre, having suffered suspected right foot injuries in a fast turn 11 fall at the end of the session.
PBM's Michael Laverty escaped harm in a spill at the same infamous 'Waterfall' turn earlier in the session.Free practice (3):
1. Marc Marquez
2. Aleix Espargaro
3. Valentino Rossi
4. Cal Crutchlow
5. Stefan Bradl
6. Alvaro Bautista
7. Bradley Smith
8. Nicky Hayden
9. Andrea Iannone
10. Andrea Dovizioso
11. Randy De Puniet
12. Claudio Corti
13. Hector Barbera
14. Michele Pirro
15. Yonny Hernandez
16. Danilo Petrucci
17. Colin Edwards
18. Hiroshi Aoyama
19. Karel Abraham
20. Michael Laverty
21. Bryan Staring
22. Lukas Pesek