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Lorenzo puts the hammer down in FP3

Lorenzo puts the hammer down in FP3

Jorge Lorenzo smashed the previous lap record at Sepang in the crucial FP3 session as Viñales, Smith and Petrucci are forced into Q1.

Movistar Yamaha’s Lorenzo destroyed Marc Marquez’s 2014 Pole Record (1’59.791) on the way to setting the fastest ever lap by a MotoGP™ bike around the Sepang International Circuit, a 1’59.544. As always in FP3, the last ten minutes became a mini Qualifying shootout as riders fitted new slicks and tried to secure their place directly in Q2.

Lorenzo struck first with 4 minutes to go and despite both of the Repsol Honda’s looking like they might be able to displace Lorenzo at the top, they could not match his pace in the final two sectors. Marquez got closest, ending the session just 0.111s behind Lorenzo, with his teammate Pedrosa (+0.439s) completing the provisional front row.

Championship leader Rossi (+0.709s) attempted to set a quick time earlier in the session when the temperatures were lower, but was still forced to put in an extra slick at the end to set his best time. The Italian spent some time playing a game of cat and mouse with Marquez towards the end of the session as they both looked for space on track. Rossi ended the session in fourth, but over seven-tenths of a second behind his title rival Lorenzo.

Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera (+0.788s) surprised everyone to put his Open class Ducati in fifth on the combined timesheets as he benefitted from a Danilo Petrucci tow. LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (+0.827s) was outside of the top ten with a few minutes to go, but ensured he went directly through to Q2 on his last lap to finish in sixth.

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro took advantage of the softer option tyre available to the team to set the seventh fastest time and once more secure a place in Q2. Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone was the only rider in the top ten not to improve his time in the session as he experienced a problem with his chain on his flying lap and could not set a time at the end of the session. Luckily for the Italian, his time from Friday was still good enough for eighth and a place in Q2.

His teammate Andrea Dovizioso was ninth fastest, while Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro completed the top ten and secured the last automatic Q2 spot.

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Viñales missed out on Q2 by just 0.030s in 11th, while Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith (12th) and Octo Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci (13th) will also be forced to fight it out in Q1. Petrucci missing out on Q2 after a big crash at turn 7, but the Italian was unhurt on what is his 25th birthday.

Scott Redding (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was fourteenth with American Nicky Hayden (Aspar MotoGP Team) the leading Open Honda in 16th. Australian Jack Miller ended the session in 20th place on the combined timesheets, while Hayden’s teammate Eugene Laverty was in 22nd.

Check out the combined MotoGP™ Free Practice times; FP4 kicks off at 13:30 local time in Sepang.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2015, SHELL MALAYSIA MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX, FP3, Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

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