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23 days ago
By motogp.com

Marquez leads FP3 despite crash, Iannone remains top overall

Colder conditions greeted the premier class riders on Saturday morning as none of the top five improved their Friday times...

2018 World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) set the fastest lap time in FP3 at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, setting a quickest time of 1:29.714 to head Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) by 0.042, with home hero Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) having a good Saturday morning session in third – 0.078 back.

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MotoGP™ FP3 at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix

However, with conditions colder and windier than what we saw on Friday at Phillip Island, none of the top five riders from Friday improved their times. This means Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) sits top of the pile by 0.160, a 1:29.131 still the fastest time of the weekend heading into qualifying – the Italian ending FP3 in P4. Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) could only manage P17 in FP3 but remains P2 on the combined times, with Viñales P3 overall.

Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso - 10th quickest in FP3 – is P4 after the first three practice sessions, with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) fifth – P8 for the flying Frenchman in FP3. Marquez was the first rider on the timesheets to improve his time, but this came after suffering his second crash of the weekend – Turn 4 the corner, rider ok. The Spaniard is P6 overall, with Miller also improving his time on Saturday – P7 for the Aussie. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), who hitched a ride from the Australian at the end of the session after encountering a problem with his GSX-RR, sits P8, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) the only other rider in the top ten to go quicker on Saturday morning – P5 in FP3 and P9 overall for ‘The Doctor’.

With Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) now missing the Australian GP after a Turn 1 crash in FP2 left him with right ankle fractures, Hafizh Syahrin (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) climbs into the top ten and into an automatic Q2 place after the British rider sat P5 overall. However, the Malaysian rider – like Crutchlow – crashed at Turn 1. Syahrin had to be stretchered off and was taken to the medical centre but, thankfully, he was later declared fit – Q2 beckons for the rookie.

Jordi Torres (Reale Avintia Racing) and Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) both crashed early in FP3 – riders ok.

The ten automatic Q2 spots have now been decided, but who will join them in the battle for pole on the Island? Q1 begins at 16:10 local time (GMT +11), with Q2 getting underway at 16:35.

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