Qatar MotoGP: Zarco fastest in FP3, Rossi crashes

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Qatar MotoGP: Zarco fastest in FP3, Rossi crashes
Jamie Klein
By: Jamie Klein
Mar 17, 2018, 12:30 PM

Tech 3 Yamaha rider Johann Zarco set the pace in a largely meaningless third practice session for the MotoGP season opener in Qatar, as Valentino Rossi suffered a rare crash.

Laptimes in the daytime session were well off the pace of those set on Friday evening in FP2, meaning the combined top 10 order that determines who gets through to Q2 automatically remains unchanged.

Andrea Dovizioso's 1m54.361s benchmark therefore went unchallenged, with Danilo Petrucci and Alex Rins completing the overall top three on the strength on their times from second practice.

Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Iannone, Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow, Rossi and Zarco are the remaining riders who will advance directly to Q2.

On the other hand, Maverick Vinales, 11th fastest on Friday, will have to fight his way through Q1 for only the third time since he joined Yamaha.

Zarco was the sole rider to break the 1m55s barrier in FP3, recording a 1m54.966s at the tail end of the session to go quickest by 0.497s from Pramac Ducati rider Jack Miller.

The Australian stayed 14th in the overall times however, meaning he joins Vinales in Q1.

Petrucci, Marquez and Iannone completed the top five times, with Pedrosa the only other rider to get within a second of Zarco's best lap.

Rossi was ninth-fastest after an eventful session that began with a crash at Turn 5 in the opening 10 minutes.

He also had to tour back to the pits in the closing stages as the bottom part of his Yamaha's bodywork drooped and began to scrape against the track.

Avintia Ducati's Tito Rabat was the only other rider to crash, taking a late tumble at Turn 14.

The only riders to set personal best times of the weekend in FP3 were Rabat's teammate Xavier Simeon and Alvaro Bautista (Nieto Ducati), but both remain at the bottom of the combined timesheets.

Third practice results:

Pos. No. Rider Bike  Time  Delay 
5  Johann Zarco Yamaha 1'54.966  
43  Jack Miller Ducati 1'55.463 0.497
9  Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'55.668 0.702
93  Marc Marquez Honda 1'55.750 0.784
29  Andrea Iannone Suzuki 1'55.777 0.811
26  Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'55.830 0.864
4  Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'55.980 1.014
99  Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 1'56.009 1.043
46  Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'56.049 1.083
10  35  Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'56.058 1.092
11  41  Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'56.131 1.165
12  44  Pol Espargaro KTM 1'56.260 1.294
13  42  Alex Rins Suzuki 1'56.286 1.320
14  53  Tito Rabat Ducati 1'56.310 1.344
15  55  Hafizh Syahrin Yamaha 1'56.604 1.638
16  21  Franco Morbidelli Honda 1'56.779 1.813
17  19  Alvaro Bautista Ducati 1'56.859 1.893
18  45  Scott Redding Aprilia 1'56.875 1.909
19  12  Thomas Luthi Honda 1'57.046 2.080
20  25  Maverick Vinales Yamaha 1'57.118 2.152
21  17  Karel Abraham Ducati 1'57.146 2.180
22  38  Bradley Smith KTM 1'57.208 2.242
23  10  Xavier Simeon Ducati 1'57.519 2.553
24  30  Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'57.688 2.722
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