If MotoGP FP1 is anything to go by, the world championship table is a good form guide to go by, as Andrea Dovizioso (first in the championship standings) and Maverick Vi?ales (second overall) led the way around the resurfaced Sachsenring circuit.

The rain forecasted for today was not evident throughout the 55-minute session - extended as Michelin had no opportunity to test prior to the race weekend -, allowing riders to sample not only the new surface, but also several of the four front and rear options in Michelin's tyre allocation.

And while Marc Marquez set the early pace, it was Dovizioso who went fastest late on, demoting Vi?ales to second by just 0.038s, a minor surprise, considering Honda's recent dominance at this venue.

It was Dani Pedrosa, still a key player in this season's world championship fight according to Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi, who was the fastest of the HRC men in third, with Aleix Espargaro showing well on Aprilia's RS-GP in fourth.

A key feature of the short, twisty Sachsenring track is always the spectacular, downhill turn eleven, or the 'Waterfall', as it is affectionately known. Although quiet for the session's first half, it claimed three riders in the closing 20 minutes.

Alvaro Bautista was one of those, his fall coming after sitting as high as second at one point. His crash led to him slipping to fifth. Marquez was sixth after going fast during two runs and then failing to improve late on. The reigning world champion was stationed behind Scott Redding (tenth) when the Englishman fell at turn eleven too, thankfully without injury.

As we saw at Assen less than a week ago, Johann Zarco (seventh) and Danilo Petrucci (eighth) weren't far behind Marquez, with Jack Miller continuing his recent good form in ninth. Although appearing slightly shaken, Redding was OK after his fast fall, and, with the rain an ever present threat, will be pleased to have, at least, secured a top ten place this morning.

Home hero Jonas Folger was eleventh, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (twelfth), Cal Crutchlow (13th), Hector Barbera (14th) and Sam Lowes. The Aprilia man may have placed 15th, but his fastest time was just 0.866s off Dovizioso's effort. More progress.

It was a complicated session for Assen winner Rossi. His number one machine encountered an issue early into the session when a sensor detected something irregular, effectively shutting his M1 down. After attempting to push his bike back, the 38-year old had to return to track on his #2 bike, fitted with the 'older' of the two chassis, that he does not prefer. He ended FP1 16th.

Tito Rabat (20th) was a faller at turn eight, and Suzuki's nightmare run appears to be continuing apace. Alex Rins (19th) endured a trip through the gravel at turn one, while team-mate Andrea Iannone (24th) was the third of the three fallers at turn eleven. Although uninjured, the Italian's body language during the traipse through the sizeable gravel trap spoke of the troubles he is currently encountering.

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By Neil Morrison

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Dovi sets the fastest time, very quick too so the surface must be good. Long may Dovi's form continue.

But man Maverick means business looking at the times he set in his final run

A few big names out of the top 10, and Lowes will be smiling having finished higher than Rossi.

The Ducati is improving to set the fastest time on a go cart track where there is no chance to stretch it's legs.

Bloody tyres.!!