Phillip Island: Marquez flies in FP3, Rossi still struggles

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

Marc Marquez  Honda RC213V  1:29.081   
Cal Crutchlow  Honda RC213V  1:29.509  +0.428 
Jorge Lorenzo  Yamaha YZR-M1  1:29.520  +0.439 
Scott Redding  Honda RC213V  1:29.675  +0.594 
Maverick Viñales  Suzuki GSX-RR  1:29.715  +0.634 
Andrea Iannone  Ducati GP15  1:29.755  +0.674 
Valentino Rossi  Yamaha YZR-M1  1:29.815  +0.734 
Bradley Smith  Yamaha YZR-M1  1:29.877  +0.796 
Andrea Dovizioso Ducati GP15  1:29.962  +0.881 
10  Aleix Espargaro  Suzuki GSX-RR  1:29.982  +0.901 
11  Jack Miller  Honda  1:30.034  +0.953 
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 
25  Damian Cudlin   ART  1:34.302  +5.221 

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Australian GP
Track Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Dani Pedrosa , Marc Marquez
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing , Repsol Honda Team , Ducati Team
Article type Practice report