Americas MotoGP: Miller dominates FP3, Mir to Q1

Ducati’s Jack Miller dominated third practice for the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas, as reigning world champion Joan Mir has dropped into Q1 in qualifying.

Americas MotoGP: Miller dominates FP3, Mir to Q1
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Saturday’s MotoGP action is continuing as normal despite numerous comments from riders after Friday labelling the Circuit of the Americas’ track surface as 'dangerous'.

LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami set the early pace in the session with a 2m04.918s on his Honda, before HRC stablemate and Friday pacesetter Marc Marquez edged ahead.

Marquez sat top after 10 minutes of running with a 2m04.839s, though Nakagami would depose him four minutes later with a 2m04.616s.

With 20 of the 45 minutes gone, only five riders had made improvements on the combined standings.

Reigning world champion Joan Mir was the most significant improver of that quintet, the Suzuki rider moving into 10th with a 2m04.822s.

The first major assault on the combined order came from Nakagami with just under 18 minutes the remaining, as the LCR rider went for his first soft tyre time attack run early.

The Japanese rider hooked up the lap to produce a 2m03.739s to go fastest of all, putting him over four tenths clear of Marquez’s best from Friday.

Miller was the next to start lighting up the timing screen, the Ducati rider finding time on Nakagami to take over top spot with a 2m03.549s.

This stood as the reference time until the final minute, when Miller came through to blitz the field with a 2m02.923s to comfortably lead FP3 by 0.679 seconds.

Nakagami proved to be his nearest challenger in second after a late lap demoted Alex Rins down to third.

The 2019 Austin winner is currently the only Suzuki through to Q2 later this afternoon after teammate Mir was shuffled out of the top 10 to 13th following late lap time improvements from riders behind him.

Marquez was fourth ahead of the Pramac Ducati of Joahnn Zarco, with championship leader Fabio Quartararo easing into Q2 with a 2m03.867s for the Yamaha rider.

Completing the top 10 was Honda’s Pol Espargaro, KTM’s Brad Binder, the factory Ducati of Francesco Bagnaia and Pramac’s Jorge Martin.

Binder’s late assault on the top 10 denied KTM teammate Miguel Oliveira a direct place in Q2, the Portuguese rider dropped down to 11th ahead of Avintia’s Enea Bastianini, Mir and the sister factory Yamaha of Franco Morbidelli.

Valentino Rossi will join them in Q1 later this afternoon on his Petronas SRT Yamaha, with Tech 3’s Iker Lecuona and Rossi’s half-brother Luca Marini joining him after the Avintia rider crashed late on at Turn 2.

LCR’s Alex Marquez crashed at Turn 1, the Spaniard 19th at the end of FP3 behind SRT’s Andrea Dovizioso, while a second crash of the weekend for Aleix Espargaro resigned the Aprilia man to 20th ahead of Tech 3’s Danilo Petrucci.

FP3 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 43 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 2'02.923  
2 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 2'03.602 0.679
3 42 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 2'03.727 0.804
4 93 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 2'03.804 0.881
5 5 France Johann Zarco Ducati 2'03.823 0.900
6 20 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 2'03.867 0.944
7 44 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 2'04.020 1.097
8 33 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 2'04.040 1.117
9 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 2'04.125 1.202
10 89 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 2'04.197 1.274
11 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 2'04.260 1.337
12 23 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 2'04.427 1.504
13 36 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 2'04.494 1.571
14 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 2'04.510 1.587
15 46 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2'04.860 1.937
16 27 Spain Iker Lecuona KTM 2'04.890 1.967
17 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 2'05.310 2.387
18 73 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 2'05.539 2.616
19 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 2'05.558 2.635
20 10 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 2'05.928 3.005
21 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci KTM 2'06.050 3.127
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