Zarco edges out Quartararo and Oliveira during final practice for the 2021 German MotoGP at Sachsenring.

The Pramac Ducati rider spent much of the session on old tyres before going fastest on a new medium rear in the closing stages. However, title rival Quartararo - currently 14 points ahead - remained on used tyres throughout.

Vinales, who will have to take part in Qualifying 1 after an FP3 fall, pulled straight back into the pits at the start of the session with some kind of problem on his Monster Yamaha, the unhappy Spaniard gesturing at a total lack of rear grip.

Miller then had a technical issue on his Ducati halfway through the session, pulling off track and being towed back to the pits before returning on his spare bike. The Australian completed a top four covered by just 0.161s.

Alex Marquez fell in the final ten minutes, at Turn 1.

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 Marc 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 challenge to continue that run this weekend given his best of seventh place since his return from injury and Honda being 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 is also finally using the new 2021 Honda fairing upgrade this weekend, a Yamaha style 'loop'.

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

Qualifying 1, for those outside the top ten after third free practice, including both Suzuki riders plus Morbidelli and Vinales, will now get underway.

German MotoGP, Sachsenring - Free Practice (4) Results
PosRiderNatTeamTime/DiffLapMax
1Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP21)1'21.397s14/17299k
2Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.083s4/21292k
3Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.157s4/18296k
4Jack MillerAUSDucati Team (GP21)+0.161s6/15298k
5Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.264s11/15295k
6Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)+0.289s9/17293k
7Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+0.370s3/15294k
8Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.515s10/14296k
9Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.527s5/16293k
10Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.650s11/15286k
11Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.673s12/16298k
12Maverick ViñalesSPAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.676s11/14293k
13Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+0.788s5/18290k
14Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.955s14/16291k
15Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+1.004s5/14292k
16Iker LecuonaSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+1.010s4/16293k
17Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)*+1.039s4/11289k
18Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP21)*+1.058s7/15299k
19Enea BastianiniITAAvintia Ducati (GP19)*+1.109s12/16295k
20Danilo PetrucciITAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+1.126s3/14292k
21Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Team (GP21)+1.220s6/17297k
22Luca MariniITASky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*+1.339s12/16293k

* Rookie
Fastest practice time:
Fabio Quartararo FRA Yamaha 1m 20.348s

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