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Sachsenring MotoGP: Espargaro quickest as Marquez crashes in FP1

Aleix Espargaro, Forward Yamaha, Sachsenring MotoGP 2014

Aleix Espargaro topped the opening MotoGP practice session at the Sachsenring, as Marc Marquez was left battered by a violent crash.

Runaway championship leader Marquez - unbeaten so far in the 2014 season - crashed his Honda as he accelerated out of Turn 2 into Turn 3 early in the session.

The heavy landing left him winded and after initially jumping straight back up, Marquez crouched for some time in the gravel trap in clear discomfort.

He did not visit the medical centre and was back on track on his spare bike after 15 minutes.

Marquez then worked his way back up to speed and was second for a while, before ending the session sixth.

Forward rider Espargaro deposed factory rider Jorge Lorenzo from the top spot in the closing minutes, as Yamaha filled the leading four positions with Valentino Rossi and Pol Espargaro in third and fourth.

Espargaro's Tech 3 team-mate Bradley Smith had two crashes, escaping unhurt from both.

Alvaro Bautista was top Honda in fifth for Gresini, although local hero Stefan Bradl had led the session for a long spell before slipping back to seventh, one place ahead of factory rider Dani Pedrosa.

Both Pramac Ducatis made it into the top 10, but neither works Desmosedici did.

Nicky Hayden had a wild high-speed run through the gravel in the middle of the downhill left-hand sweeps, staying upright partly thanks to tapping the barriers, and rejoining unscathed.

Pos Rider             Bike                   Time       Gap     Laps
 1. Aleix Espargaro   Forward Yamaha         1m22.170s           21
 2. Jorge Lorenzo     Yamaha                 1m22.423s  +0.253s  21
 3. Valentino Rossi   Yamaha                 1m22.466s  +0.296s  25
 4. Pol Espargaro     Tech 3 Yamaha          1m22.599s  +0.429s  25
 5. Alvaro Bautista   Gresini Honda          1m22.631s  +0.461s  21
 6. Marc Marquez      Honda                  1m22.767s  +0.597s  17
 7. Stefan Bradl      LCR Honda              1m22.802s  +0.632s  24
 8. Dani Pedrosa      Honda                  1m22.848s  +0.678s  22
 9. Andrea Iannone    Pramac Ducati          1m22.874s  +0.704s  23
10. Yonny Hernandez   Pramac Ducati          1m22.896s  +0.726s  23
11. Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati                 1m22.908s  +0.738s  20
12. Bradley Smith     Tech 3 Yamaha          1m23.150s  +0.980s  14
13. Cal Crutchlow     Ducati                 1m23.229s  +1.059s  21
14. Nicky Hayden      Aspar Honda            1m23.372s  +1.202s  21
15. Scott Redding     Gresini Honda          1m23.420s  +1.250s  19
16. Hector Barbera    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki   1m23.428s  +1.258s  22
17. Karel Abraham     Cardion Honda          1m23.432s  +1.262s  19
18. Colin Edwards     Forward Yamaha         1m23.699s  +1.529s  21
19. Hiroshi Aoyama    Aspar Honda            1m23.825s  +1.655s  23
20. Michael Laverty   PBM Aprilia            1m23.925s  +1.755s  22
21. Mike di Meglio    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki   1m24.131s  +1.961s  23
22. Broc Parkes       PBM Aprilia            1m24.974s  +2.804s  19
23. Danilo Petrucci   Ioda Aprilia           1m25.219s  +3.049s  18
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