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18 days ago
By motogp.com

Quartararo breaks lap record as FP3 shakes up the standings

Just three tenths covered the top 10 on Saturday morning as the cooler temperatures treated us to a stunning session in Jerez

FP3 provided us with cooler temperatures than FP2, with the track sitting at a more comfortable 36 degrees at the beginning of the session as riders immediately went out to try and improve their FP1 times – that top 10 was in sight for every rider on the grid. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) penetrated the automatic Q2 places first, the Spaniard going P10 to displace Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) in the opening nine minutes – a sign of things to come.

FP3 provided us with cooler temperatures than FP2, with the track sitting at a more comfortable 36 degrees at the beginning of the session as riders immediately went out to try and improve their FP1 times – that top 10 was in sight for every rider on the grid. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) penetrated the automatic Q2 places first, the Spaniard going P10 to displace Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) in the opening nine minutes – a sign of things to come.

Rider round-up: first feelings back after the extended break

Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) then shot himself up to P8 from 18th as the soft tyres were slotted in and time attack mode was firmly pressed. Teammate Miller then improved his time to get into the top three and with 28 minutes still on the clock, it really was all to play for in FP3. Mir was the first rider to topple Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) on the combined times as the sophomore went P1, but just behind Quartararo was pushing. The Frenchman went P1 straight after Mir and on the next lap, Quartararo flew to a new Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto all-time lap record – that 1:38.806. Hammer down for the reigning Rookie of the Year.

With 15 minutes to go, it was time. Riders such as Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), brother Aleix Espargaro, FP2 pacesetter Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) – among others – were sitting outside the automatic Q2 bracket. Morbidelli then sneaked into the top 10 with 10 minutes to go, but only just. Rossi behind went P11 and following The Doctor, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) launched himself to P2 to sit as the leading HRC rider.

17 riders were within a second heading into the final 10 minutes, with Marc Marquez, Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) yet to improve their FP1 times – the trio still sitting inside the top 10 though. The number 93 soon did improve to go P2, but he was still 0.2 off Quartararo. Mir was then the man on the move, the Suzuki star went from P4 to P2 to sit just a tenth off top spot to push Marquez down to third as personal best sectors lit up the time screens. Morbidelli moved up five places to P5, Rossi went from P11 to P7 as Miller then went 0.052 off Quartararo’s time to go second.

It was scintillating stuff and with 30 seconds to go, it could all still change. Dovizioso was sitting outside the top 10 as the chequered flag was waving – could the Italian do it? Just. Dovi edged himself into the Q2 places by 0.038 with Pol Espargaro the victim of the number 04’s final lap.

 

So at the end of a breathless FP3, three tenths covered the top 10 – it doesn’t get much closer than that. Quartararo spearheads the field with a new all-time Jerez lap record, with Miller and Mir completing the top three. Marc Marquez finishes 0.017 ahead of fifth place Viñales, with Crutchlow a further 0.053 behind the Yamaha man in P6. Morbidelli was a later improver to get himself into P7, the apprentice sits 0.018 ahead of the master – Rossi, the nine-time Champion claiming P8. Two Ducatis complete the top 10 as Bagnaia leads Dovizioso.

Some big names miss out and will have to contest Q1 this afternoon. Pol Espargaro and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) were the fastest of the riders outside the top 10 as we get ready for what looks set to be a barnstorming opening MotoGP™ qualifying session of 2020.

Don’t miss a second if the action this afternoon, with Q1 kicking off 14:10 local time (GMT+2). And don’t forget, create your dream MotoGP™ team with MotoGP™ Fantasy, make sure you get your selections sorted before qualifying this afternoon – join leagues and challenge your friends to see who comes out on top!

Top 10 combined:
1. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) – 1:36.806
2. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) + 0.052
3. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.102
4. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.223
5. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.240
6. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) + 0.293
7. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 0.306
8. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.324
9. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) + 0.365
10. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) + 0.379

Click here for the full results!

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