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Marquez fastest after dramatic FP3 shootout

 Marquez fastest after dramatic FP3 shootout

Marc Marquez topped the timesheets ahead of Crutchlow after a dramatic FP3 which ended up deciding who will make it through to Q2 later on.

A number of the MotoGP™ riders would have been pleased to arrive at the circuit this morning to find the track dry for FP3, despite the overcast conditions. If it had been wet, then yesterdays time’s from FP2 would have decided who would be automatically through to the second Qualifying session.

Instead, the riders had one last chance to set a fast lap in the improved conditions and show their real pace ahead of Qualifying later in a bid to secure one of the ten automatic spots in Q2. With that in mind, and with the track temperature increasing and circuit conditions much better than yesterday, lap times were drastically improved. This meant that FP3 became a straight shootout to decide who will make it through to which Qualifying session.

As always the last few minutes were where the real action took place, as riders whacked on their softer option tyres to set a flying lap in an effort to avoid Q1. This meant the leaderboard was constantly changing in an incredibly dramatic end to the session.

Repsol Honda’s Marquez left it until his very last lap to set the fastest time of 2’03.302, almost three-tenths quicker than his Circuit Record set during the race last year. Continuing his form from yesterday, CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (+0.188s) once again managed to finish in 2nd place as the leading Satellite rider, and will be feeling extremely confident heading into Q2.

The most relieved man in the paddock must be Jorge Lorenzo, who was in 11th after the first day of practice, but fought of a case of bronchitis to finish in 3rd overall, just 0.345s back from Marquez. His teammate Valentino Rossi (+345s) was in 4th after setting an identical time to Lorenzo, with Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith (+0.364s) in 5th and his teammate Pol Espargaro (+0.471s) in 6th. Pol’s brother Aleix (+0.488s) was next on the Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR, with Andrea Dovizioso (+0.548s), Scott Redding (+0.644s) and Danilo Petrucci (+0.728s) on the Pramac Racing Ducati, completing the top ten who make it through automatically to Q2.

Riders who will have to battle it out in Q1 for the top two spots to get through to Q2 include Andrea Iannone on the Factory Ducati Team GP15, Maverick Viñales on the second Team Suzuki Ecstar bike, the leading Open Class rider Stefan Bradl and Yonny Hernandez.

Click here for the full combined MotoGP™ Free Practice results, Q1 is scheduled to start at 14:10 local time in Austin.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2015, RED BULL GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS, FP3, Cal Crutchlow, Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo

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