Jerez MotoGP: Petrucci tops FP3, works Yamahas to Q1

Valentin Khorounzhiy

As many as 16 riders were quicker than Petrucci's own benchmark from Friday, meaning that automatic Q2 spots were decided on FP3 alone – and in the end it was the factory M1s who missed out, with Valentino Rossi 11th and Maverick Vinales 15th.

Recent-first time winner Alex Rins had begun the day outside of the combined classification top 10, having not ran the soft rear tyre at all on Friday, but immediately shot up the order once he put it on for his first run in FP3.

He followed Jorge Lorenzo around the track to an initial 1m38.553s and then a 1m37.840s, subsequently ending his run with a minor on-track spat with Lorenzo, as he appeared to indicate the Honda man was going needlessly slow on the racing line.

Lorenzo's teammate Marc Marquez dethroned Rins from the top spot a couple of minutes later, posting a 1m37.712s.

The reigning champion's time was challenged by fellow Honda rider Cal Crutchlow as the session approached halfway, but Crutchlow rolled out of his first proper attempt and then crashed at speed at the Turn 10 right-hander, his RC213V cartwheeling through the gravel and bouncing off the air fence.

The need to redeploy the air fence ultimately forced a red-flag stoppage, although the session had carried on for another eight minutes following Crutchlow's crash before it was suspended.

Soon after the restart, Lorenzo equipped a new soft rear to claim the top spot, only to be immediately surpassed by Petronas SRT Yamaha rookie Fabio Quartararo, going 0.001s quicker.

Takaaki Nakagami and Petrucci then took turns out front, both going below Crutchlow's previous all-time Jerez MotoGP lap record, before Quartararo swiftly reclaimed the top spot with a 1m37.485s, keeping the lead until Rossi went a tenth quicker with three minutes left on the clock.

By that point, Marquez had finally equipped a soft rear, going top by nearly four tenths and then being immediately eclipsed by Danilo Petrucci.

The Italian's 1m36m957s effort – the first-ever sub-1m37s MotoGP lap at Jerez – finally allowed him to end the session in first place, beating Marquez by 0.061s.

Quartararo had been shuffled down to as low as 11th in the closing stages, but secured a Q2 berth by snatching third place at the death.

Petrucci's teammate Andrea Dovizioso was fourth, setting the same time as Suzuki rookie Joan Mir, who was followed by his more experienced teammate Rins.

Crutchlow advanced to Q2 despite his mid-session crash, as did his teammate Nakagami, the Japanese rider narrowly beating the Brit to seventh place.

Franco Morbidelli took ninth on the SRT Yamaha, while Lorenzo narrowly held on to the final automatic Q2 spot, beating Rossi and Pramac Ducati's Jack Miller by four and five hundredths of a second respectively.

Pol Espargaro was the lead KTM in 12th, while his brother Aleix led Aprilia's efforts in 13th, both going faster than the lap record that had stood pre-FP3.

Cla Rider Bike Laps Time Gap km/h
1 Italy Danilo Petrucci
Ducati 20 1'36.957 164.225
2 Spain Marc Marquez
Honda 22 1'37.018 0.061 164.122
3 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 20 1'37.232 0.275 163.760
4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati 20 1'37.292 0.335 163.659
5 Spain Joan Mir
Suzuki 22 1'37.292 0.335 163.659
6 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 20 1'37.320 0.363 163.612
7 Japan Takaaki Nakagami
Honda 21 1'37.324 0.367 163.606
8 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow
Honda 16 1'37.358 0.401 163.548
9 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 20 1'37.370 0.413 163.528
10 Spain Jorge Lorenzo
Honda 21 1'37.376 0.419 163.518
11 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha 21 1'37.417 0.460 163.449
12 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati 18 1'37.424 0.467 163.438
13 Spain Pol Espargaro
KTM 19 1'37.492 0.535 163.324
14 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 18 1'37.547 0.590 163.232
15 Spain Maverick Viñales
Yamaha 17 1'37.661 0.704 163.041
16 Germany Stefan Bradl
Honda 21 1'37.889 0.932 162.661
17 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 18 1'38.006 1.049 162.467
18 Spain Tito Rabat
Ducati 23 1'38.245 1.288 162.072
19 France Johann Zarco
KTM 19 1'38.298 1.341 161.984
20 Italy Andrea Iannone
Aprilia 17 1'38.327 1.370 161.937
21 United Kingdom Bradley Smith
Aprilia 19 1'38.580 1.623 161.521
22 Portugal Miguel Oliveira
KTM 20 1'38.669 1.712 161.375
23 Czech Republic Karel Abraham
Ducati 18 1'38.838 1.881 161.099
24 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin
KTM 20 1'40.218 3.261 158.881
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