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MotoGP Jerez: Bagnaia back at the top in FP3

Ducati Lenovo’s Pecco Bagnaia was back to his MotoGP session-topping best at Jerez as his 1’36.782 lap led the way in FP3.

Friday’s pace setter Fabio Quartararo continued to shine on the Monster Energy Yamaha in second with LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami the leading Honda in third.

Aprilia led the way as Saturday’s morning action got up to speed. Aleix Espargaro improving on his Friday best as he headed teammate Maverick Viñales in the session times with Quartararo narrowly behind in the top three.


Nakagami split the RS-GP’s next time around with Bagnaia and Marc Marquez joining the top five fight. Brad Binder and Marco Bezzecchi staked their claim on the Q2 times as the pair struck for second and third in the session. The KTM sitting seventh overall with the Mooney VR46 just missing out in 12th.

The Espargaro brothers took charge of FP3 after the opening ten minutes with Aleix’s 1’37.386 promoting him to fifth in the combined times as his younger sibling sat in eighth.

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Franky Morbidelli circulated in 15th overall despite improving on his Friday time with Ducati’s Jack Miller narrowly adrift from 11th with half an hour still to run. The bankers giving way to mid-session race prep ahead of the frantic final push.

The halfway stage saw Suzuki’s Joan Mir in control thanks to a 1’37.341. His tenth lap boosting him to fourth in the Q2 fight ahead of Pramac’s Jorge Martin with just himself and the two Aprilias having improved on Friday’s times so far.

Espargaro was the first to head out on a brand new soft as the final 20 minutes began before a track limits infringement and a turn 11 moment curtailed his front running ambitions and he returns to pit lane. Mir capitalising on his new Michelin and an empty track to go second before Bagnaia blitzed the benchmark with a 1’36.782 - two-tenths shy of the all-time record - on the GP22.

Quartararo was quick to react as he looked to challenge before running wide in the third sector and having to regroup. Binder, Alex Rins and Miller all improved at the edge of the promotion zone with Pol Espargaro and Viñales cut adrift with 12 minute to go.

Nakagami’s first effort claimed sixth on the LCR Honda, half a second off the Ducati out front, before he bettered to second next time around with just a tenth left to find. Quartararo demoted the Idemitsu rider with his 16th effort, 0.067s the gap to Bagnaia as Bezzecchi claimed the gateway spot on the VR46 Ducati, 0.677 adrift.

Both Repsol Hondas sat outside the promotion zone with seven minutes left to run, the pair circulating a tenth apart in 13th and 15th with Miller and Morbidelli for company. Aprilia’s Espargaro the first of the big hitters to improve, to fourth, as the final five minutes fired up.

Marquez had Miller in his sights as the part pushed hard, the Honda claiming fourth as the Ducati sat seventh with three to go before Viñales entered the top five ahead of his teammate. Bezzecchi improved with a time worthy of ninth, Enea Bastianini in the danger zone and having yet to improve on FP2.


A crash for Alex Marquez saw the LCR destroyed at turn 13 in the penultimate minute, with the yellow flags disrupting the late action. Bastianini struck for gold with a 1’36.976 time for sixth as Johann Zarco’s late effort fell short in 11th.

With the chequered flag flying Pol Espargaro crashed out at turn 13, from 17th, Rins likewise missing out on direct entry to Q2 from 13th while Quartararo consolidated his potential, 0.006s shy of Bagnaia at the top before the time was deleted due to the waved yellows. A final effort from Martin claiming ninth and demoting Bezzecchi out of the Q2 fight in the dying moments as Miller held tight in tenth.

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