Valentino Rossi topped Friday morning's third practice session for the Dutch TT with a late surge to the top of the timesheets ahead of Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
After a light sprinkle of rain midway through the 45-minute session, there was a late flurry of quick laptimes in the dying stages, with Tech 3 Yamaha rider Bradley Smith being the first man to break through the Thursday benchmark set by Dani Pedrosa.
The Briton went quickest on a 1m33.387s, 0.063s faster than the Honda rider, just prior to the chequered flag, but was immediately knocked off the top spot by the factory M1 of Lorenzo, who posted a 1m33.275s.
Andrea Iannone’s Ducati took advantage of the soft rear tyre to get within 0.017s of the new benchmark, before Rossi smashed through the barrier set by his teammate with a 1m33.167s on his final flying lap.
Lorenzo had one more attempt at getting back to P1, setting overall best times in the first two sectors, but faded later in the lap and was forced to settle for second.
Iannone slotted in third ahead of teammate Andrea Dovizioso, also using a soft rear tyre, who tucked in behind Lorenzo at the very end of the session to record a 1m33.356s.
Smith’s earlier session-topping time proved only enough for fifth in the final reckoning, ahead of the two Repsol Hondas of Pedrosa, who failed to improve on his time from FP2, and Marc Marquez, who was the quickest man for much of the session before dropping down the order late on.
Maverick Vinales made use of the soft rear to set the eighth best time of the session for Suzuki, with Pol Espargaro on the second Tech 3 Yamaha and Cal Crutchlow’s LCR Honda securing the final two automatic Q2 berths in ninth and tenth.
The Pramac Ducati of Danilo Petrucci and the second works Suzuki of Aleix Espargaro will be among those riders vying for one of two Q2 spots in the first phase of qualifying.
Practice results (FP3 only):
|13||Stefan Bradl||Yamaha Forward||1'34.195||1.028|
|18||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||1'35.013||1.846|
|22||Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward||1'36.030||2.863|
|23||Alex de Angelis||ART||1'36.298||3.131|