Andrea Iannone hauled himself into third place on Friday after the first free practice sessions at the Sachsenring after improving from sixth in FP1.

The Italian rider, third in the championship for Ducati after the first eight races, was only two-tenths of a second down on the Repsol Honda of Marc Marquez after setting a lap in 1m 21.824s.

Iannone, who joined the top riders as he tested Bridgestone's asymmetric front tyre on the factory GP15, said: "I am half satisfied, in the sense that for sure I managed to get a good result today, but in the end we still have to understand how competitive we can realistically be with the harder tyre.

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"Even today we are struggling a bit more than what I expected: I was sure I could go quicker much easier than this and be closer to the front.

"In any case we are working in a methodical way and we have found a set-up with which I can be quite quick," added Iannone, who set his best time on the softer rear tyre. "This is important with tomorrow in mind."

Andrea Dovizioso lapped in 1m 22.340s to finish 10th and revealed the changes he made to his GP15 on Friday backfired.

"I am not very happy with the afternoon session when I hoped to be able to make some further improvement, but the modifications we tried did not work the way we had hoped for," said Dovizioso, who also used the soft rear to post his fastest lap.

"Even when the things we try don't give the expected results, they are in any case useful to understand the direction to take and this will help us for tomorrow.

"Of course we still have a lot to do because our speed is not as much as we want, but I am confident for tomorrow."