morning but was pushed hard by Ducati test rider Michele Pirro until a last-lap charge saw him extend his advantage to almost half a second.Marquez had set a 1’33.951 earlier in the session and had a full second in hand. Pirro was the best of the challengers, putting in a 1’33.988 with his 14th lap of 17 even after an engine problem but Marquez’ final run was decisive as he ended on a 1’33.556, using medium Michelins front and rear.
Series leader Andrea Dovizioso was also a late charger, putting in a 1’34.175 to claim third on his last lap and he edged out Britain’s Cal Crutchlow by 0.021s. The LCR Honda man is riding with a finger he sliced open while cooking earlier in the week.
Danilo Petrucci spent much of the session in the top three but slipped back to fifth place on a 1’34.219 with Jorge Lorenzo close behind, setting a 1’34.498. Dani Pedrosa, also a front-runner until there were only 15 minutes left, finished in seventh with a 1’34.545.
After a small tantrum at the end of his first run, Maverick Vinales climbed to eighth with a 1’34.592 on his penultimate lap while Johann Zarco was one behind. The Monster Yamaha man had a big moment in the early stages, running on to the grass and then lost the front at turn six with five minnutes left to run.
Team-mate Jonas Folger, who is 100 per cent fit after his Silverstone warm-up get off, completed the top ten, just ahead of Hector Barbera and Alvaro Bautista. Jack Miller, Aleix Espargaro, who crashed late on, and Tito Rabat rounded out the top 15.
Britain’s Scott Redding put his Pramac Ducati in 18th place, one ahead of Pol Espargaro. Bradley Smith was fast early doors but slipped off on an out-lap, asking too much of a cold front tyre at turn 15. He finished in 21st. Karel Abraham and Sam Lowes also both crashed and ended in 22nd and 23rd.