Marc Marquez kept his place at the head of the Sachsenring timesheets after rebuffing a Yamaha attack during Free Practice 3 in Germany.

Marquez, who had helped draw a line under his Assen disappointment by leading both Friday sessions, then set a new personal best on his seventh lap of the morning.

That put the Repsol Honda rider on top until fresh tyres were fitted in the final ten minutes, with Bradley Smith - closest to Marquez on day one - propelling his Tech 3 Yamaha to the front.

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Factory M1 rider Jorge Lorenzo displaced Smith with four minutes remaining, but Marquez wasn't to be denied and delivered two new fastest laps at the very end of the 45-minutes.

Marquez's final advantage was 0.138s over Lorenzo, whose team-mate and title leader Valentino Rossi had rocketed from tenth to third (+0.191s) in the final minute.

Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso made use of the soft Open class rear to claim fourth place (+0.479s) ahead of the impressive Smith, with Marquez's team-mate Dani Pedrosa rounding out a top six covered by 0.539s.

Aleix Espargaro's morning got off to a forgettable start when the Spaniard, riding in the special retro Suzuki livery, was thrown off his GSX-RR at turn one. The Spaniard returned to claim seventh (+0.606s), just ahead of fellow morning faller Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda).

Dovizioso's team-mate Andrea Iannone tried new, larger wings on the side of his Ducati but was the only rider not to improve this morning. Nevertheless, ninth meant he was safely through to Qualifying 2, with Pol Espargaro claiming the final transfer place for Tech 3.

Losing out were the likes of Maverick Vinales (Suzuki) and Scott Redding (Marc VDS Honda), the Englishman having been the first rider to try the hard front tyre this morning.

Bridgestone has brought four different fronts for this event, highlighted by the 2015 debut of their asymmetric front tyre, which again looked the most popular choice this morning.

In terms of race pace Marquez still has a clear edge of his rivals with ten sub-1m 22 laps this morning compared with three for Rossi, Pedrosa and Smith, and two for Lorenzo.

1. Marc Marquez
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Valentino Rossi
4. Andrea Dovizioso
5. Bradley Smith
6. Dani Pedrosa
7. Aleix Espargaro
8. Cal Crutchlow
9. Andrea Iannone
10. Pol Espargaro
11. Maverick Vi?ales
12. Scott Redding
13. Yonny Hernandez
14. Hector Barbera
15. Danilo Petrucci
16. Alvaro Bautista
17. Jack Miller
18. Nicky Hayden
19. Mike Di Meglio
20. Alex De Angelis
21. Loris Baz
22. Eugene Laverty
23. Hiroshi Aoyama
24. Michael Laverty
25. Claudio Corti