While no points are handed out for Saturday form, Marc Marquez appears to be on course to deliver a potentially decisive blow to Jorge Lorenzo's MotoGP championship challenge, after the Honda man topped MotoGP FP3 at the Sachsenring.

The winner of each of the previous three premier class races at the 2.2-mile German track, Marquez's speed came as little surprise. However, the extent of Lorenzo's struggles did. The reigning world champion, whose weekend began badly with a fast Friday fall, was an exasperating 15th and thus will have to progress through Q1 for the first time in his career.

Although Lorenzo's lowly pace will come as some comfort to Marquez, the current championship leader's morning wasn't exactly straightforward. Andrea Iannone offered considerable opposition, the Italian's fastest time just over a tenth of a second slower than Marquez's best lap of 1m 21.552s.

Friday pace setter Maverick Vi?ales carried his early pace through to Saturday too with his best time (+0.268s) good enough for third place.

A machine known for its comparable sweet handling ability to the Suzuki GSX-RR, Yamaha M1s were represented in fourth and fifth, with Valentino Rossi heading Pol Espargaro just three tenths back of Marquez.

Dani Pedrosa was sixth - a good deal better than his timid Friday effort with Aleix Espargaro continuing his positive Friday showing with the seventh fastest time. A trio of Ducatis completed the top ten; Hector Babera again navigated his way through to an automatic Q2 place, as did Andrea Dovizioso and the impressive Yonny Hernandez.

An early faller at turn one, Cal Crutchlow (eleventh) looked on with frustration as a his name was pushed down the order of the top ten in the final minutes. Along with Lorenzo, he will join Danilo Petrucci (twelfth), Jack Miller (13th), Bradley Smith (14th) and Scott Redding (17th) in Q1.

FP3:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Andrea Iannone
3. Maverick Vi?ales
4. Valentino Rossi
5. Pol Espargaro
6. Dani Pedrosa
7. Aleix Espargaro
8. Hector Barbera
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Yonny Hernandez
11. Cal Crutchlow
12. Danilo Petrucci
13. Jack Miller
14. Bradley Smith
15. Jorge Lorenzo
16. Alvaro Bautista
17. Scott Redding
18. Stefan Bradl
19. Tito Rabat
20. Loris Baz
21. Eugene Laverty

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