Austin MotoGP: Marquez edges out Iannone in third practice

Marc Marquez continued to set the pace in third practice for the GP of the Americas at Austin, but Andrea Iannone was able to keep the two-time MotoGP champion honest.

Austin MotoGP: Marquez edges out Iannone in third practice

Once again, it was Marquez who was first to break through his own Friday pace when Saturday's action at the Circuit of the Americas commenced, the Honda man setting a best time of 2m03.885s that stood as the benchmark for the majority of the session.

That gave the Spaniard a margin of six tenths of a second over Iannone's Ducati, and Marquez was able to shave a few hundredths off his earlier effort with three minutes remaining with a 2m03.861s.

Shortly after, Iannone reduced Marquez's advantage to just 0.098s with a blistering lap of his own, but the gap between the duo was back up to 0.198s after the chequered flag as Marquez finally worked his way down to a 2m03.741s.

Some fourth tenths further back in third was Jorge Lorenzo aboard the best of the Yamahas, the Spaniard demoting compatriot Maverick Vinales (Suzuki) with a lap just 0.005s faster on his final lap of the session.

Cal Crutchlow had briefly put his LCR Honda third in the closing stages before the late improvements from Lorenzo and Vinales, having to settle for fifth, with Valentino Rossi completing the top half-dozen on the second factory Yamaha with a time 0.709s adrift of Marquez.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) and an impressive Loris Baz (Avintia Ducati) were next up, ahead of the second factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso - who suffered a crash at Turn 11 on his way to the ninth best time, exactly a second off the pace.

The last man to seal his automatic Q2 slot was Pramac Ducati's Scott Redding at the chequered flag, pushing out Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha).

The Spaniard will thus have to fight his way through Q1 along with brother Aleix Espargaro (Suzuki), Hector Barbera on the slower of the Avintia bikes and Bradley Smith - who struggled badly and could do no better than 19th on his Tech 3 Yamaha, some 2.2s off the pace.

Practice results:

PosRiderTeamBikeTimeGap
1 SpainMarc Marquez  Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V 2:03.741 2:03.741
2 ItalyAndrea Iannone  Ducati Team Ducati Desmosedici GP16 2:03.937 +0.196
3 SpainJorge Lorenzo  Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha YZR-M1 2:04.331 +0.590
4 SpainMaverick Viñales  Team Suzuki ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-RR 2:04.336 +0.595
5 United KingdomCal Crutchlow  Team LCR Honda RC213V 2:04.408 +0.667
6 ItalyValentino Rossi  Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha YZR-M1 2:04.450 +0.709
7 SpainDani Pedrosa  Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V 2:04.524 +0.783
8 FranceLoris Baz  Avintia Racing Ducati Desmosedici GP14 2:04.576 +0.835
9 ItalyAndrea Dovizioso  Ducati Team Ducati Desmosedici GP16 2:04.741 +1.000
10 United KingdomScott Redding  Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati Desmosedici GP15 2:04.769 +1.028
11 SpainPol Espargaro  Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1 2:04.783 +1.042
12 SpainAleix Espargaro  Team Suzuki ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-RR 2:05.061 +1.320
13 SpainHector Barbera  Avintia Racing Ducati Desmosedici GP14 2:05.207 +1.466
14 ItalyMichele Pirro  Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati Desmosedici GP15 2:05.288 +1.547
15 ColombiaYonny Hernandez  Aspar Racing Team Ducati Desmosedici GP14 2:05.378 +1.637
16 GermanyStefan Bradl  Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia RS-GP 2:05.616 +1.875
17 AustraliaJack Miller  Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V 2:05.684 +1.943
18 United KingdomBradley Smith  Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1 2:05.962 +2.221
19 IrelandEugene Laverty  Aspar Racing Team Ducati Desmosedici GP14 2:06.179 +2.438
20 SpainTito Rabat  Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V 2:06.444 +2.703
21 SpainAlvaro Bautista  Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia RS-GP 2:06.488 +2.747
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Iannone 2nd and Dovizioso 9th at the end of first day of free practice for the GP of the Americas

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