Andrea Iannone became the latest rider to suffer a heavy fall, tumbling roughly in the gravel after running on at turn one. The Italian rookie dislocated his right shoulder and is therefore set to miss qualifying.
MotoGP championship leader Dani Pedrosa was absent after his huge morning highside and will also miss qualifying as he awaits the results of further checks.
Title rival Jorge Lorenzo, who broke his collarbone at Assen - but returned to claim fifth in the race - has been forced to withdraw from the German round after re-damaging his collarbone on Friday.
Hiroshi Aoyama, injured at Catalunya, is returning to action while Pramac's Ben Spies continues to be side-lined and is again replaced by Ducati test rider Michele Pirro.
Qualifying 1, where those outside the top ten in free practice will fight for the remaining two places in Q2, will now get underway.
for pictures from the grand prix...
1. Valentino Rossi
ITA Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 1m 21.978s
2. Stefan Bradl
GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 1m 22.046s
3. Marc Marquez
ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 22.115s
4. Cal Crutchlow
GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 22.280s
5. Alvaro Bautista
ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 1m 22.556s
6. Aleix Espargaro
ESP Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 1m 22.775s
7. Nicky Hayden
USA Ducati Team (GP13) 1m 22.855s
8. Bradley Smith
GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 22.980s
9. Andrea Dovizioso
ITA Ducati Team (GP13) 1m 23.115s
10. Hiroshi Aoyama
JPN Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 1m 23.238s
11. Claudio Corti
ITA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 1m 23.271s
12. Andrea Iannone
ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing (GP13) 1m 23.313s
13. Michele Pirro
ITA Ignite Pramac Racing (GP13) 1m 23.468s
14. Randy De Puniet
FRA Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 1m 23.532s
15. Colin Edwards
USA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 1m 23.710s
16. Yonny Hernandez
COL Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 1m 23.754s
17. Michael Laverty
GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART CRT)* 1m 24.055s
18. Danilo Petrucci
ITA Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT)* 1m 24.108s
19. Karel Abraham
CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (ART CRT) 1m 24.454s
20. Hector Barbera
ESP Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 1m 24.578s
21. Bryan Staring
AUS Go&Fun Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 1m 25.120s
22. Lukas Pesek
CZE Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT)* 1m 25.336s
* Standard ECU.
Fastest practice time:
SPA Honda 1m 21.903s
Official Sachsenring MotoGP records:
AUS Honda 1m 21.067s
Fastest race lap:
ESP Honda 1m 21.846s