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It couldn’t be any closer between fastest man Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and 2021 World Champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) at the end of FP3 at the Grande Prémio Brembo do Algarve. The top two in the Championship are split by just 0.001s ahead of qualifying in Portimao, with 2020 World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) also within a tenth of Pecco’s 1.39.202.
As we often see, the first three-quarters of Saturday morning’s FP3 was all about continuing to find the best set-up and rhythm for race day. Windy but sunny conditions greeted the riders, trickier than what was experienced on Day 1, as Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) and Petronas Yamaha SRT duo Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso were the only rider to have improved their Friday efforts with just over 20 minutes to go, before we saw some soft rear tyres enter the mix.
Mir was the first of the big hitters to make a move, the Spaniard penetrating the top three with 20 minutes to go. This then set the tone for the remainder of the session. LCR Honda Idemitsu’s Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda Castrol’s Alex Marquez and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) were the next movers inside the top 10, before a whirlwind final 10 minutes played out.
Miller Airlines: Ducati rider lifts off in Portimao
With seven minutes to go, Quartararo set the best lap of the weekend to go 0.3s clear. A couple of minutes later, Bagnaia demoted the World Champion to P2 by just 0.004s, with Pecco’s VR46 Academy colleague Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) climbing to P4. Mir then slammed in his best lap of the weekend, the top trio now split by 0.025s, with Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) going P4. Quartararo’s final lap of FP3 saw the Frenchman reel in rival Pecco, with just 0.001s covering the duo.
Miller held onto P4 as the session drew to a close, with Alex Marquez grabbing a very impressive P5 in the closing stages – the double World Champion just 0.173s off P1. Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) claimed P6 in FP3, the Italian only 0.2s down on Pecco, as Rins, Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team), Marini and Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) pick up the final automatic Q2 spots.
With 1.1s covering the whole premier class field, qualifying is shaping up to be an absolute thriller – as always. FP4 takes place at 13:30 local time (GMT+0) with the riders dialling in their race settings, before it’ll be all out attack at 14:10 for Q1. Tune in to find out who grabs pole position in Portimao!
Top 10 combined:
1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ductai Lenovo Team) – 1:39.202
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.001
3. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.025
4. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.160
5. Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) + 0.173
6. Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.274
7. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.348
8. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.350
9. Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) + 0.378
10. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) + 0.461
2 years ago