MotoGP: Saturday dawns with drama in crashfest FP3

Marc Marquez fastest, then crashed
Marc Marquez fastest, then crashed

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took early control of FP3 on Day 2 at MotorLand, putting in a 1:47.810 to top the session early on and demolish the field as the majority of the early laptimes saw rivals in the 1:49 bracket. Title rival Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took an early tumble at Turn 9 that ejected the Italian legend from his Yamaha – but it was rider ok and back out soon after to become the first man into the 1:48s behind Marquez.

More drama then hit at the midway point as Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) lost control of his machine into Turn 2 and slid across the asphalt – with the bike sliding over the exit to pit lane and colliding with Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich). The Spaniard ran over to check on the Italian, with both riders ok and soon back out on track – normality resumed, until another incident a few minutes later.

With 15 minutes remaining, Jack Miller's injury replacement Nicky Hayden (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) lost his Honda into Turn 14 – seconds before another incident further up the track hit Marquez and Pol Espargaro. With the Repsol Honda and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bikes sliding down towards the stricken EG 0,0 Marc VDS machine, Hayden and the marshals moved to avoid any further incident as Marquez got to his feet to check on Espargaro. All three riders then headed back into the pits, with Marquez soon back out but Espargaro then forced to play the waiting game after the incident had involved his second machine.

The last thirty seconds saw the times tumble instead of the riders, with Marquez safe at the top but big improvements coming in after the start of the session. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) moved up one place from Friday to prove the first to follow Marquez into Q2, followed by Maverick Vinales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), who leaped up the timesheets into P4. Aleix Espargaro completed the top five to graduate to Q2 on the second Suzuki, just ahead of Friday's fastest Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team).

Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) made big progress in FP3 to move into Q2 in P7 as the fastest Ducati on combined times, ahead of Ducati Team's Andrea Dovizioso. Valentino Rossi survived the cut off to Q2 in P9, with Pol Espargaro hanging on to lock out the top ten after being forced to watch much of the session from the sidelines.

Practice 3 Results

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'47.810 0.000 / 0.000
2 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda Honda 1'48.006 0.196 / 0.196
3 25 Maverick VINALES SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1'48.052 0.242 / 0.046
4 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1'48.298 0.488 / 0.246
5 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1'48.308 0.498 / 0.010
6 45 Scott REDDING GBR OCTO Pramac Yakhnich Ducati 1'48.627 0.817 / 0.319
7 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1'48.652 0.842 / 0.025
8 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'48.817 1.007 / 0.165
9 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1'48.967 1.157 / 0.150
10 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Racing Ducati 1'48.975 1.165 / 0.008
11 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Pull & Bear Aspar Team Ducati 1'49.137 1.327 / 0.162
12 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1'49.250 1.440 / 0.113
13 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1'49.652 1.842 / 0.402
14 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA OCTO Pramac Yakhnich Ducati 1'49.696 1.886 / 0.044
15 50 Eugene LAVERTY IRL Pull & Bear Aspar Team Ducati 1'49.738 1.928 / 0.042
16 6 Stefan BRADL GER Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1'49.792 1.982 / 0.054
17 53 Tito RABAT SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1'49.804 1.994 / 0.012
18 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'49.909 2.099 / 0.105
19 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1'50.617 2.807 / 0.708
20 76 Loris BAZ FRA Avintia Racing Ducati 1'50.617 2.807
22 Alex LOWES GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha