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MotoGP Aragon: Marquez back on top in crash-strewn free practice three

Marc Marquez set the pace in MotoGP free practice three as the only man to dip into the 1‘47s – before becoming one of a number of riders to crash out in a dramatic 45 minute session at Aragon.

Despite his complaints last night that he was ‘getting murdered’ on track, it was Britain’s Cal Crutchlow who actually ended up second quickest overall. And perhaps even more surprising was Scott Redding who ended the session sixth and the highest placed Ducati.

The crash-fest of a session kicked off in style as Valentino Rossi tipped of his Movistar Yamaha on his outlap. Moments later, Alex Lowes slid off his Monster Yamaha machine. He was seen limping away from the scene and was taken to the medical centre for a check-up.


Marquez then became the first – and only – man to get his machine into the 1’47s as he stuck in a 1’47.810 in the first 10 minutes and remarkably no-one else was able to get close.

In fact, the only thing that got faster were the crashes. Fifteen minutes into the session the Monster Yamaha team’s morning got worse when Pol Espargaro crashed out after losing the front at the second corner.

As he slid across the floor, Danilo Petrucci was caught up and collected by the Yamaha as he exited pitlane, sending him flying into the gravel too. The Octo Pramac Ducati man also took himself to the medical centre after the session after suffering quite a bump to the head.

Rossi and Espargaro both made it back out on their second bikes with plenty of the session still to run, but Espargaro wasn’t about to get much track time in.

With 17 minutes left, more drama unfolded at Turn 14. Nicky Hayden lost the front and slid off, and as the marshals were picking up his stricken machine they had to abandon and run as Espargaro’s second bike came hurtling towards them along with Marc Marquez’s Repsol Honda after Marquez had crashed and his machine took out the unlucky Pol.

As the session drew to a close, no one was in any place to close the gap on Marquez at the front. Crutchlow was second quickest with a 1’48.006 while Maverick Vinales moved up to third, knocking Jorge Lorenzo – who had definitely seen some improvement since yesterday – to fourth.

Aleix Espargaro was fifth and in the closing seconds after the flag, Redding stormed into the top six with his best lap of 1’48.627, his Octo Pramac machine ending the session as highest placed Ducati, one spot ahead of the factory machine of Andrea Dovizioso.

Yesterday’s fast man Dani Pedrosa did nothing of note, ending up eighth ahead of Rossi as Hector Barbera rounded out the top 10. Eugene Laverty finished 15th.

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