MotoGP: Marquez ups the ante to lead FP3

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Marc Marquez upped the ante with the quickest lap of the weekend in the final timed free practice session ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying.

The Spaniard’s time of 1’30.255 saw him outpace rookie Johann Zarco by 0.246 seconds as the Frenchman continues to impress in his debut MotoGP season.

After topping yesterday’s opening practice, Andrea Iannone continued to display improvement for Ecstar Suzuki to place third quickest in the session ahead of Jorge Lorenzo who had led the way in FP2.

Despite not improving his time in FP3, Dani Pedrosa was third on the combined timesheets ahead of an impressive showing from rookie Alex Rins, who earns his pass straight to Q2 after setting the sixth quickest time.

Ducati test rider Michele Pirro will also be heading straight to Q2 after setting the seventh quickest time of the weekend to place ahead of title challenger Andrea Dovizioso.

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Jack Miller’s strong form continues despite a second crash of the weekend in the early stages of FP3, he was able to go ninth quickest on his second bike ahead of Valentino Rossi, who was able to salvage a spot in Q2 in the dying moments of this morning’s session.

Things didn’t quite go so well for the second Movistar Yamaha of Maverick Vinales, who’ll be forced to fight for a spot in Q2 in the opening Q1 session after placing 14th on the combined practice timesheets.

The British charge was again led by Cal Crutchlow, who was just 13th after the three practice sessions. Bradley Smith improved to 16th quickest for Red Bull KTM while Aprilia’s Sam Lowes also improved his position to move 19th. It wasn’t such a strong session for Scott Redding however, who ended the session as the final Brit on the timesheets in 23rd position after a crash around the mid-point.

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing