Alex de Angelis was the fastest man in the Moto2 class as the shortest track of the year produced an incredibly close session on Friday morning. The San Marino rider was less than a tenth of a second clear of Simone Corsi but a further 14 riders were within a second of the pacesetter.

De Angelis was in and around the top of the timesheets throughout the session but the man who impressed was Julian Simon. Just six weeks after breaking his leg in Catalunya, the Mapfre Aspar rider was straight on the pace on his return, finishing in sixth place.

Bradley Smith heads to Germany on the back of three consecutive podiums and the Briton was back in the top three again at the Sachsenring despite a brief trip through the gravel early in the session.

Championship leader Stefan Bradl will have the bulk of the home support and made a solid start in fourth. His chief rival Marc Marquez was just half a second behind the German but the intensity of the competition meant that he finished the session in 13th.

Behind Bradl, Scott Redding was next up in fifth ensuring that both British youngsters put themselves in contention right from the start. With Julian Simon in sixth, Yuki Takahashi was next along in seventh on a circuit where he has a victory to his name in the former 250cc class.

The last time Mika Kallio and Aleix Espargaro were riding around the Sachsenring they were on MotoGP machinery, but both riders made good starts on their Moto2 debuts in Germany, finishing in eighth and ninth with Jules Cluzel edging out Thomas Luthi to complete the top ten.

Aside from Bradl, the only other home rider for the fans to cheer in the intermediate class will be Max Neukirchner. The former World Superbike winner was only 1.059s off the pace, but astonishingly that left him down in 17th.