Hohenstein-Ernstthal - Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso showed
the speed that won him back-to-back Grand Prix in Italy and Spain when he
recorded the fastest free practice lap in Friday's first session for the German
The session was extended by ten minutes to allow riders to
accustom themselves to the freshly-laid track, said to have very good grip,
with championship leader Dovizioso clocking 1min 21.599sec.
Maverick Vinales of Yamaha was a mere 0.038sec behind while
the man to watch, defending champion Marc Marquez, who has won of his last
seven races in Germany, sixth at 0.299sec.
Valentino Rossi, who edged the Assen GP two weeks ago, had a
technical problem with his Yamaha and could only manage 16th on a frustrating
first session for the 38-year-old Italian.
With rain a possibility Rossi, who has three wins on this
track and who is considered a brilliant wet conditions rider will look to set a
more competitive time than a disappointing 0.936sec gap on Dovizioso.
The race on Sunday sees the season reach its halfway mark of
nine races from 18 and the 30 laps of the short and challenging 3.7km track
featuring ten left hand turns may provide a new championship leader with
Dovizioso, Vinales, Rossi and Marquez divided by 11 slender points.