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12 days ago
By motogp.com

Dovizioso fastest from Miller as Q1 beckons for Marquez

Italian leads a Ducati 1-2 in FP3 as the Championship leader finishes P11 after a crash at Turn 4 on his final flying lap

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) maintained his position at the top of the timesheets in FP3 at the PTT Thailand Grand Prix to go 0.167 faster than fellow Ducati rider Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) after setting a benchmark time of 1:30.399, as Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) suffered a crash at Turn 4 to see him finish outside the top ten in P11.

It was Marquez who went quickest early in the session and the six-time World Champion looked set to cruise into Q2 before the typical late FP3 time attack took place with 10 minutes remaining. Miller was the first to set the timing screens alight, going nearly half a second quicker than the rest on fresh rubber, with Marquez leaving it late to get himself a lap in – crossing the line with 20 seconds of the session to spare. By this time though, the number 93 had slipped to P11 and then at Turn 4, Marquez couldn’t repeat a save he’d done at Turn 1 earlier in FP3 as he and his Repsol Honda slid into the gravel. This leaves the Spaniard having to go through Q1 for the second time this season, and only the fourth time since this qualifying format was introduced.

FREE VIDEO: yet another miraculous Marquez save

Meanwhile, there were no such problems for Dovizioso and Miller who led the Ducati charge at the front, with Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) continuing his positive weekend with a P3 finish in FP3 – 0.248 splitting the Spaniard from Dovi. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) sits fourth fastest as the leading Honda rider in Thailand, with Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) making it three Desmosedicis in the top five ahead of qualifying.

MotoGP™ Free Practice 3 at the PTT Thailand Grand Prix

Despite briefly slipping outside the top ten, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) was able to propel himself back into an automatic Q2 spot - P6 for the three-time World Champion, who ends Free Practice at the Chang International Circuit 0.041 ahead of seventh fastest Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). ‘The Doctor’ didn’t ride with the new Yamaha fairing attached to his M1 in FP3. Compatriot Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was eighth quickest, just ahead of Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in ninth and Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) in tenth – both of whom set late times to grab automatic Q2 places, pushing Marquez out.

With teammate Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) sidelined and Marquez having to dice it out in Q1, can Dovizioso continue to reign in Thailand to secure pole position in qualifying? The times are tight so the fight for that P1 on the grid will be fierce, with less than a second splitting to top 17.

Lorenzo: "I'm not in a condition to race"

Tune in for Q1 at 14:10 local time (GMT +7), with Q2 beginning at 14:35.

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