Marc Marquez returned to the top of the British MotoGP practice timesheets with the fastest lap of the weekend so far, during Saturday morning's third track session at Silverstone.

FP3 began with drama when home star Cal Crutchlow suffered a big Saturday fall at the British GP for the third year in a row.

Crutchlow lost control on entry to the ultra-fast Maggotts Esses on his first flying lap this morning, leaving his Tech 3 Yamaha virtually destroyed.

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Fortunately Crutchlow - who broke his collarbone in qualifying on his 2011 British GP debut, then fractured his ankle in the Saturday morning session last year - was declared fit to continue by medical staff and returned during the final ten minutes.

The Briton worked his way into the top ten - then fell for a second time, after a nasty highside under braking for the Vale chicane in the closing minutes. Again Crutchlow walked away, although his frustration was clear. Crutchlow finished the session in eighth - ninth on combined practice times - at least confirming a place in this afternoon's Q2 session.

Crutchlow returned to the medical centre after the session "but is ok", according to Tech 3.

Meanwhile, rookie title leader Marquez - second to reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo on Friday - led the session from the ten-minute mark onwards. Lorenzo and LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl also set fast early laps, under the quickest time from Friday, to claim second and third places, just 0.169s and 0.188s from Marquez.

Last year's pole sitter Alvaro Bautista completed a top four covered by 0.288s for Gresini Honda, with Andrea Dovizioso also posting a late fast lap to take fifth place for Ducati, 0.728s from Marquez.

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), Nicky Hayden (Ducati), Crutchlow and top CRT rider Aleix Espargaro (Aspar) - linked to Forward Racing for next season - plus Marquez's Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa completed the top ten.

Pedrosa did not improve on his Friday pace, but still took fifth on combined practice times.

Home rookie Bradley Smith, Crutchlow's team-mate, also did not improve and was left eleventh fastest as a result, costing him an automatic place in Q2. Pramac Ducati riders Andrea Iannone and Michele Pirro also missed the cut.

As well as Crutchlow, other fallers in the cool morning conditions were PBM riders Yonny Hernandez (twice) and Michael Laverty, plus Ioda's Lukas Pesek.

A short Free Practice 4 session will be held just before Qualifying 1, where riders outside the top ten will fight for the two last remaining places in Q2.

Free Practice 3:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Stefan Bradl
4. Alvaro Bautista
5. Andrea Dovizioso
6. Valentino Rossi
7. Nicky Hayden
8. Cal Crutchlow
9. Aleix Espargaro
10. Dani Pedrosa
11. Bradley Smith
12. Andrea Iannone
13. Colin Edwards
14. Hector Barbera
15. Randy De Puniet
16. Michele Pirro
17. Danilo Petrucci
18. Hiroshi Aoyama
19. Claudio Corti
20. Yonny Hernandez
21. Michael Laverty
22. Lukas Pesek
23. Bryan Staring