Bagnaia lands lap record to oust Quartararo in FP3

Factory Ducati’s Italian continues to set the pace as under a second splits the fastest 19 riders – it’s tight at Mugello

Friday pacesetter Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) will lead his competitors into qualifying at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley after setting a new all-time lap record in FP3 at Mugello. The Italian’s 1:45.456 topped Fabio Quartararo’s (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) effort by 0.157s on Saturday morning, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder also under two tenths away from Bagnaia in third, as we witness the South African equal the top speed record.

The battle for automatic Q2 promotion

Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) was the first rider to make a big leap up the timing screens on Saturday morning, the Frenchman propelling himself from P11 to P2 on his fifth lap of the day. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) were other early improvers, but there was plenty of swapping and changing to come in the final 15 minutes of FP3.

Quartararo came out all guns blazing and set two consecutive fastest laps of the weekend to move the goalposts, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) – despite being 20 km/h down on top speed to the fastest bikes – sitting P2 with five minutes left. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) then made it a Yamaha 1-2-3 heading into the closing stages, with Bagnaia at that stage the fastest Ducati in P7.

However, with two minutes to go, it was all change. Pecco shot to P1 with a new lap record, teammate Jack Miller placed himself P3 with Binder then displacing Miller for that third spot. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was a late mover into the top 10, as was Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) as a late crash from Viñales at Turn 12 – rider ok – saw the Spaniard slip to P11.

Who’s in the all-important top 10?  

The man searching for a 2021 hat-trick of wins is fourth behind Bagnaia, Quartararo and Binder, his name is of course Miller as the Aussie and Zarco complete the top five. Rins, Oliveira, Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Pol Espargaro and Morbidelli were able to sail into Q2, as just 0.409s covers the leading 10 riders ahead of qualifying at Mugello.

Fabio Quartararo, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley

Big names heading for Q1

Aforementioned, Viñales sits 11th after FP3 and will have to contest in the opening part of qualifying. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Aleix Espargaro and Nakagami are also outside the all-important top 10, as just under a second splits the top 19.

This means one thing: the fight for the final two Q2 places will be intense in Q1, and the pole position battle is shaping up to be a belter. Tune in for MotoGP™ qualifying at 14:10 local time (GMT+2) to see if anyone can topple Bagnaia in Italy.

Top 10 combined:
1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) – 1:45.456
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.157
3. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.196
4. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.245
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 0.269
6. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.298
7. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.335
8. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.369
9. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.402
10. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 0.409


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