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Sachsenring MotoGP: Marquez fastest as Pedrosa crashes violently

MarquezMarc Marquez went fastest at a drying Sachsenring circuit in third MotoGP practice that was again marred by a horrible crash, this time for championship leader Dani Pedrosa.

The Spaniard had looked certain to extend his advantage over main rival Jorge Lorenzo, with the latter skipping this weekend due to injury following a massive highside on Friday.

Pedrosa however suffered his own huge accident at Turn 1, despite apparently cruising on one of his first forays back out on track following a brief rain spell just as the session started.

The Honda rider was flicked high into the air and landed on his left arm and shoulder - an area he has had multiple operations on in recent seasons. His helmet also dragged across the floor, tearing off his visor.

He spent the remainder of the session in the medical centre, undergoing examinations for a suspected left shoulder injury. Initial x-rays suggested he had not suffered any broken bones.

Should he be fit enough to compete he will be guaranteed a top-12 start as his practice pace was enough to earn him fifth overall.

His team-mate Marquez will head into qualifying with the fastest overall time, having improved to a 1m21.903s as the chequered flag fell.

That was enough to deny Aleix Espargaro a surprise top spot, with the Aspar Aprilia rider progressing through to Q2 third overall, ahead of Yamaha's Valentino Rossi.

Alvaro Bautista, Bradley Smith and Andrea Dovizioso were the final riders to progress straight into Q2.

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati, Sachsenring MotoGP 2013The latter could only manage the 13th fastest combined time in practice, after a miserable opening in which he totalled the 'new' GP13 after just five laps on Friday morning. He progresses automatically however as Lorenzo has officially withdrawn from the weekend.

Alongside Pedrosa, Bryan Staring, Michael Laverty and Hector Barbera all suffered nasty falls during the third session.

The latter is undergoing examinations for a suspected broken foot after a high-speed crash at the downhill Turn 11.

Pos Rider              Team/Bike              Time       Gap     Laps
 1. Marc Marquez       Honda                  1m21.903s           17
 2. Aleix Espargaro    Aspar Aprilia          1m22.129s  +0.226s  18
 3. Valentino Rossi    Yamaha                 1m22.306s  +0.403s  23
 4. Cal Crutchlow      Tech 3 Yamaha          1m22.377s  +0.474s  20
 5. Stefan Bradl       LCR Honda              1m22.389s  +0.486s  20
 6. Alvaro Bautista    Gresini Honda          1m22.614s  +0.711s  21
 7. Bradley Smith      Tech 3 Yamaha          1m22.758s  +0.855s  20
 8. Nicky Hayden       Ducati                 1m22.874s  +0.971s  20
 9. Andrea Iannone     Pramac Ducati          1m23.031s  +1.128s  20
10. Andrea Dovizioso   Ducati                 1m23.063s  +1.160s  19
11. Randy de Puniet    Aspar Aprilia          1m23.174s  +1.271s  20
12. Claudio Corti      Forward FTR-Kawasaki   1m23.426s  +1.523s  19
13. Hector Barbera     Avintia FTR-Kawasaki   1m23.556s  +1.653s  14
14. Michele Pirro      Pramac Ducati          1m23.557s  +1.654s  17
15. Yonny Hernandez    PBM Aprilia            1m23.745s  +1.842s  17
16. Danilo Petrucci    Ioda-Suter-BMW         1m23.842s  +1.939s  22
17. Colin Edwards      Forward FTR-Kawasaki   1m23.978s  +2.075s  18
18. Hiroshi Aoyama     Avintia FTR-Kawasaki   1m24.310s  +2.407s  20
19. Karel Abraham      Cardion Aprilia        1m24.555s  +2.652s  19
20. Michael Laverty    PBM-Aprilia            1m24.606s  +2.703s  18
21. Bryan Staring      Gresini FTR-Honda      1m25.873s  +3.970s  14
22. Lukas Pesek        Ioda-Suter-BMW         1m27.617s  +5.714s  9 
23. Dani Pedrosa       Honda                  -                   3 

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