Jake Dixon continued to command the Moto2 Spanish GP preparations as the Autosolar GasGas Aspar rider 1’41.556 lap topped the Jerez FP3 times.
Elf Marc VDS’ Sam Lowes maintained the impressive weekend for the English pair with second place heading into qualifying, just 0.012s back, while Barry Baltus took third on the RW Racing GP.
Stefano Manzi returned to the intermediate class as FP3 fired up on Saturday morning. The VR46 Academy graduate, and current WorldSSP rider, standing in at Yamaha Master Camp for Keminth Kubo after being diagnosed with costochondritis after Friday morning’s action.
Liqui Moly’s Marcel Schrotter and Lowes led the way as the final practice began, on-track antics worthy of the Moto3 class disrupting the flow around the short 4.4km circuit with the pace already honing in on Dixon’s Friday best. 0.066s covered the fastest three overall with Honda’s Ai Ogura and Speed Up’s Fermin Aldeguer also improving immediately to round out the top five after ten minutes.
Lowes struck with a 1’41.568 as the opening quarter of an hour completed. The impressive and consistent pace coming from the middle of a strong long run on the Marc VDS machine as Pedro Acosta claimed fourth, 0.135s further back on the Red Bull KTM and Tony Arbolino arrived to seventh.
Dixon was the only rider yet to improve in the combined top ten at the halfway stage. His Aspar teammate likewise from 11th with American Racing’s Cameron Beaubier the first outside the promotion zone as the second 20 minutes began.
A mid-session lull gave way to a frantic final few minutes with half a second covering the top ten. Italtrans’ Joe Roberts the first to improve on his way to sixth with Celestino Vietti dropping to the danger zone. Jorge Navarro crashing the Flexbox HP40 out at turn two from 11th in the standings with the waved yellows disrupting the pack’s final push.
Barry Baltus promoted the RW Racing machine to fifth as the championship leader dropped out with Somkiat Chantra the next under threat as Roberts advanced again, this time to fourth. Baltus continuing to shine with a 1’41.598 to capture second with three to go.
Dixon was on the move as the clock counted down as the Brit returned to his session-leading position. 1’41.556 now the target as Simoni Corsi crashed the MV Agusta out at turn five.
Ajo’s Acosta looked to be on a red sector stunner before Jeremy Alcoba went down at the final corner and the lap faded away. The rookie regrouping for one last push to secure the spoils before the final sector once again saw his effort reduce to finish fifth.
A heroic lap from Aron Canet deleted due to track limits with the Flexbox rider sitting 13th at the flag and in obvious pain with his injured left hand.
Dixon topped his third session of the Spanish weekend from Lowes with Baltus, Schrotter and Acosta completing the top five. Recent race winner Roberts took sixth from Aldeguer, Ogura, and an impressive Gabriel Rodrigo with Vietti, Arbolino, Augusto Fernandez, Canet and Lorenzo Dalla Porta enjoying the final promotions.