It was a quiet third Free Practice session in terms of lap times improving as riders struggled to improve on the fantastic time set by Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider Pol Espargaro in the warmer conditions. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha) were the only two riders to overcome his time and they lead the list of the top ten riders who automatically enter Qualifying 2.
Iannone will not be competing for the rest of the weekend
It was confirmed prior to the third Free Practice session that Ducati Team rider Andrea Iannone will not be competing for the remainder of the MotoGP meeting at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. The ‘Maniac’ was ‘declared unfit due to T3 vertebra fracture sustained in FP1 crash’. There were mixed messages following his visit to the hospital; he was racing and he wasn’t… but in the end it was decided it was best for him to rest after he was assessed before FP3.
Special helmets for their home GP
Rossi is donning a special helmet for his home round of the MotoGP. The Italian rider’s helmet features a photograph of him and Uccio dressed like the ‘Blue’s Brothers’ with the message "Sweet Home Misano". Also sporting a special helmet at his home GP was Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati), his was dedicated to the victims of the Italian earthquake last month.
Aleix blocked Rossi at turn 16 when Rossi was on a fast lap during the session, and several hand gestures later the duo were still not happy with each other as they made their way down either side of the pits. Rossi had a lap time cancelled for exceeding the track limits at turn 16.The Italian is clearly hoping to do well in front of his home crowd.
Pol Espargaro’s time of 1:32.769 was the one from day one of Free Practice that everyone had to beat. The Spanish independent team rider lapped consistently during the final session of the day and proved unbeatable. During the start of FP3 only the riders on the bottom half of the timesheet were able to improve which didn’t yet affect the top ten.
First crash of the session from Pedrosa
Twenty minutes into the session Dani Pedrosa crashed his Repsol Honda out of the left handed corner of turn 15, on an ‘out’ lap after the front folded underneath him. It has caught several riders out as they have took to the track on cold tyres. Fortunately Pedrosa, who tumbled with the bike that rolled like a barrel, appeared unhurt and he was able to get a lift back to the pits so he could continue on with the session.
The Spaniard was still second on the timesheet as the time as no one had yet come close to the times set during FP2. Usually all the action comes at the end of the session. It is disappointing for the Spaniard who had appeared to find his confidence again judging by his performance on day one. He was back on track with just over seven minutes to go.
More crashes followed as the later corner caught riders out
Team Suzuki Ecstar rider Aleix Espargaro crashed minutes late at turn 14; a right handed corner. As he entered the hairpin the front folded on him and he and the bike slid into the gravel. The Marshals were able to get him going and Aleix swiftly returned to the pits.
Alex Lowes, who is replacing injured British rider Bradley Smith on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, went hot into turn one during the final stages. Luckily he was able to recover and did not miss out on the opportunity to improve on his time.
Petrucci crashed out at turn 5, the left handed turn that caught out Pedrosa earlier. Petrucci too had been completing his ‘out lap’ and was starting to push. He was able to walk away but would be struggling for time to improve his time. His bike tumbled and destroyed itself in the gravel trap.
Marquez able to improve on previous time
Just over six minutes of the session had remained, and Marquez went quicker than his previous time after a strong third sector. On his next lap he was able to improve on Pol’s time and his time of 1:32.451 was now the time to beat.
Pedrosa had just returned to the track as had Aleix Espargaro, and Pedrosa’s confidence appeared to be still intact as he began the first of his flying laps with a strong first sector. Less than three minutes remained and Octo British GP winner Maverick Vinales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) went to fifth on the timesheet.
Three more crashes in the closing stages
In the closing stages, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller crashed at turn nine as did LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow at turn two at the same time. Crutchlow was incredibly frustrated as he was kicking out and shouting at the side of the track after the front tucked in on the left-hander. Miller was able to get his bike restarted ad continue. Fortunately both were unhurt.
Then unfortunately for Lowes, he was caught out at the end of the session at turn 15. The British wildcard looked upset as he got on the back of a scooter to return to the pits.
Marquez the quickest during Free Practice 3
The session came to an end; it was quite quiet in terms of lap times. Marquez was the quickest man on track ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha), and Pol Espargaro was pushed down to third. His time from day one in the hotter conditions was enough to score him a spot automatically in Qualifying 2.
Pedrosa was fourth quickest ahead of Vinales. Dovizioso was the highest placed Italian in Misano in seventh ahead of Crutchlow who remained in eighth despite his crash. Rossi was ninth (the nine times world champion was one of the riders who had several lap times cancelled and Michele Pirro who is making a wildcard appearance for the Ducati Team and Aleix Espargaro completed the list of the top 10 riders who automatically progress to Qualifying 2.
Missing out on the top ten spots and progressing through to Qualifying 1
Just outside was Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) who was 11th quickest ahead of Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati rider Scott Redding who is looking to make up for his disappointing result in front of his home crowd at Silverstone.
Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) was 13th quickest ahead of Petrucci and Lowes following their crashes. Yonny Hernandez (Pull & Bear Aspar Ducati) was 16th before Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Miller and his rookie teammate Tito Rabat (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS). Irishman Eugene Laverty (Pull & Bear Aspar Team) was 20th ahead of Javier Fores who is standing in for injured Loris Baz aboard the Avintia Ducati in 21st.