Marquez dominates FP3, Pedrosa into Q1
MotoGP points leader Marc Marquez topped the third practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix by more than four tenths, as his teammate Dani Pedrosa failed to advance directly to Q2.
The session started with Valentino Rossi, who was only 12th overall after Friday as he’d been struggling with illness, leading the way.
The Italian opted to use Yamaha’s new fairing that was originally tested at Brno on Monday and was not expected to be utilised at the Red Bull Ring.
Johann Zarco and then Marquez took over at halfway point in FP3, but Rossi was the first rider to beat Andrea Dovizioso’s Friday benchmark by going under the 1m24s barrier.
However, Rossi was again quickly beaten by Zarco and Marquez, the Spaniard’s 1m23.459s effort eventually putting him 0.423s clear.
Zarco took second with Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone grabbing third.
Jorge Lorenzo was the top Ducati in fourth, as Rossi and his teammate Maverick Vinales settled for fifth and sixth respectively.
The 2015-spec Ducatis of Loris Baz (Avintia) and Karel Abraham (Aspar) made it into Q2 as made up the top eight in the session.
Cal Crutchlow, who fell at Turn 9, was ninth, ahead of compatriot Scott Redding – who will be forced to take part in Q1, as Dovizioso’s Friday time was good enough to put him sixth overall on combined laptimes.
The Italian was only 16th in the session, 0.995s off the pace and two places behind Pedrosa, who was only 12th overall on combined times.
Apart from Crutchlow, the only other rider to crash in FP3 was Bradley Smith, the KTM rider’s incident happening at Turn 1.