Marc Marquez is straight back on top during MotoGP's return to the Sachsenring for the 2021 German MotoGP.

Sachsenring, the shortest and slowest circuit for top speed in the world championship, was not part of last year's Covid calendar, which also meant Marquez's record of winning every race at the circuit since he joined the MotoGP class in 2013 remained intact. Add in three victories in the 125cc/Moto2 classes and the Spaniard is unbeaten at the track since 2009!

Marquez faces a big challenge to continue that run this weekend, with a best of seventh place since his return from injury and Honda without a podium this season. But while still struggling for strength in his right arm and corresponding shoulder area, Marquez has far less trouble with left-hand corners, which dominate the anti-clockwise German track.

The #93 - finally using his 2021 Honda fairing upgrade this weekend, a Yamaha style 'loop' - was fastest for most of the opening practice session, at one stage leading a Honda 1-2-3 with Nakagami and Espargaro.

Title leader Quartararo, seen carefully zipping up his leathers befroe FP1, following the Catalunya wardrobe malfunction, tested his safety equipment soon after when he suffered a heavy accident at Turn 12. The French was initially reached for his right shoulder, but later gave a thumbs up to trackside marshals and was back on track by the midway stage, those rose up the order to split the Hondas.

Martin and Pol Espargaro also fell early in the session.

Rins is returning to action for Suzuki after missing Barcelona due to a fractured wrist in a bicycle accident.

The top 19 riders were covered by less than one-second, with 1.309s covering Marquez to Binder in last place...

German MotoGP, Sachsenring - Free Practice (1) Results
1Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)1'21.660s4/25294k
2Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.168s13/20293k
3Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+0.276s7/22291k
4Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.350s9/19294k
5Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)+0.380s17/19293k
6Jack MillerAUSDucati Team (GP21)+0.391s9/22296k
7Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.416s19/19292k
8Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP21)+0.488s22/22296k
9Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.512s20/22292k
10Maverick ViñalesSPAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.593s14/25292k
11Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Team (GP21)+0.600s14/25295k
12Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.664s14/22293k
13Luca MariniITASky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*+0.704s19/22291k
14Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.721s13/24289k
15Enea BastianiniITAAvintia Ducati (GP19)*+0.817s20/20294k
16Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+0.877s23/24293k
17Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)*+0.952s19/21290k
18Danilo PetrucciITAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+0.986s12/23290k
19Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP21)*+1.018s8/18297k
20Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.031s22/23290k
21Iker LecuonaSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+1.068s4/24293k
22Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.309s20/23295k

* Rookie
Official Sachsenring MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Marc Marquez SPA Honda 1m 20.115s (2019)
Fastest race lap:
Marc Marquez SPA Honda 1m 21.228s (2019)

By Peter McLaren