Honda’s Marc Marquez lowered the MotoGP bar in free practice at Phillip Island on Saturday, ahead of Cal Crutchlow as Jorge Lorenzo failed to improve on his Friday time and was third fastest this morning.
Points leader Valentino Rossi of Yamaha did improve his time today, but it was only good enough for seventh fastest, 0.734s off Marquez’s pace.
Story of the session
Track conditions were dry but cold, with a stiff breeze blowing in off the sea.
Marquez’s fastest time of the weekend so far was 1m29.383s from FP2, but that was in no danger of being topped for the majority of the session.
Rossi was first out of the blocks, having been 0.658s off the pace on Friday, and jumped up to sixth overall on 1m29.815s, 0.432s off the fastest time.
At that time, only Andrea Iannone was lapping a couple of tenths faster on his works Ducati, with Lorenzo and Marquez lapping roughly in the same bracket on long race simulation runs.
Suzuki’s Aleix Espargaro went ninth on 1m30.031s with 10 minutes remaining, just one thousandth quicker than Bradley Smith, who immediately went on to the bubble of qualifying for Q2 automatically on his Tech 3 Yamaha.
Late flurry of quick times
As the end of the session approached, Marquez unleashed a phenomenal time of 1m29.081s at the start of his third run, finding three tenths over his Friday best. However, he was then forced to go off avoiding Pol Espargaro, much to his annoyance.
Lorenzo managed a 1m29.520s, which was third-fastest in today’s session.
The LCR Honda of Crutchlow went P2 on 1m29.509s, just failing to beat Lorenzo’s Friday time, but Scott Redding was the big mover on his Marc VDS Honda and leapt to P4 (sixth overall) from outside the top 10 on 1m29.675s.
Smith was outside the Q2 cutoff, and jumped up to ninth overall at the very last moment on 1m29.877s.
Aleix Espargaro missed out on Q2 by 0.02s, with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso just nicking the 10th spot.
Australian GP FP3 times
|1||Marc Marquez||Honda RC213V||1:29.081|
|2||Cal Crutchlow||Honda RC213V||1:29.509||+0.428|
|3||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha YZR-M1||1:29.520||+0.439|
|4||Scott Redding||Honda RC213V||1:29.675||+0.594|
|5||Maverick Viñales||Suzuki GSX-RR||1:29.715||+0.634|
|6||Andrea Iannone||Ducati GP15||1:29.755||+0.674|
|7||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha YZR-M1||1:29.815||+0.734|
|8||Bradley Smith||Yamaha YZR-M1||1:29.877||+0.796|
|9||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati GP15||1:29.962||+0.881|
|10||Aleix Espargaro||Suzuki GSX-RR||1:29.982||+0.901|
|12||Hector Barbera||Ducati GP14||1:30.163||+1.082|
|13||Pol Espargaro||Yamaha YZR-M1||1:30.193||+1.112|
|14||Danilo Petrucci||Ducati GP14||1:30.295||+1.214|
|15||Nicky Hayden||Honda RC213V-RS||1:30.351||+1.270|
|16||Alvaro Bautista||Aprilia RS-GP||1:30.404||+1.323|
|17||Yonny Hernandez||Ducati GP14||1:30.414||+1.333|
|18||Dani Pedrosa||Honda RC213V||1:30.505||+1.424|
|19||Eugene Laverty||Honda RC213V-RS||1:30.766||+1.685|
|20||Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward||1:31.145||+2.064|
|21||Mike di Meglio||Ducati GP14||1:31.176||+2.095|
|22||Stefan Bradl||Aprilia RS-GP||1:31.419||+2.338|
|23||Anthony West||Honda RC213V-RS||1:31.898||+2.817|
|24||Toni Elias||Yamaha Forward||1:31.913||+2.832|