MotoGP points leader Marc Marquez put his Honda topped a wet third practice at Phillip Island by a dominant margin, but a late tumble meant he was unable to take advantage as a dry line started to emerge.
Marquez set a 1m38.522s on his ninth of 12 completed laps but hit the deck when his front wheel slipped out from under him at Turn 6.
At the time he was leading the session by an impressive 0.834s, but a late improvement from Johann Zarco on the Tech 3 Yamaha saw him vault up the order and get within half a second of the top.
Earlier, Zarco had led the session but crashed coming out of downhill right-hand Turn 10 before getting back to the pits and grabbing his spare bike to turn his fastest times.
Andrea Iannone crashed his Suzuki on the exit of Turn 4, but is safely through to Q2, as no one’s best lap time came close to eclipsing the best efforts from the dry FP2 session on Friday.
Late in the session, Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo had a fast shunt on Turn 8 when he clipped the inside curb with his front wheel and lost grip on the paint. He will have to go through Q1 having not been fast enough in the dry.
The same applies to Valentino Rossi, who edged his works Yamaha teammate Maverick Vinales to 12th place in this session, but while Vinales is through to Q2 already, Rossi will have to fight through Q1 first.
Late improvements on the drying track from Pol Espargaro’s KTM and Karel Abraham’s Aspar Ducati saw them jump to third and fourth fastest, but while Espargaro is through to Q2, Abraham is not.
Neither is Danilo Petrucci, despite him playing his usual starring role in the wet this morning and clocking fifth. Dani Pedrosa on the second works Honda, Cal Crutchlow on the LCR machine and Andrea Dovizioso were P6 through P8, and are already into Q2.
Local boy Jack Miller is another in Q2 but also fast in the wet, and he finished the session 10th.
Aleix Espargaro completed the fewest laps – just seven – and wound up 23rd and last, but his fastest time from Friday has booked him his place in Q2.