Austrian MotoGP: Bagnaia leads Quartararo as Martin shunts in FP3

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia topped third practice for the MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix by 0.094 seconds, as Styrian GP winner Jorge Martin faces Q1 in qualifying after a late crash.

Austrian MotoGP: Bagnaia leads Quartararo as Martin shunts in FP3

With the field saving dry tyres following FP2’s washout, improvements on the combined timesheets – still headed by Pramac rider Johann Zarco’s record lap of 1m22.827s from FP1 – were immediate.

Zarco set the initial individual timesheet benchmark with a 1m23.729s, while factory Ducati team counterpart Francesco Bagnaia was the first big mover five minutes into the 45-minute session as he jumped up to fourth.

Zarco's team-mate Martin then improved to third with a 1m23.682s on combined times.

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo improved to a 1m23.587s in second on combined times with just under 10 minutes gone, putting him top in FP3 before Zarco returned to head of the times with a 1m23.484s lap.

Quartararo would make the first real charge on Zarco’s overall best lap with just under 20 minutes remaining when the Yamaha rider fitted fresh soft rubber.

His initial effort of 1m23.203s edged him closer to Zarco’s lap record, with his second lap of 1m22.975s putting him within 0.148s of the Pramac rider.

At the same time, Zarco was conducting race running on used medium rubber, a luxury he afforded himself with his record lap in FP1.

The Frenchman’s FP1 best would go unbeaten come the chequered flag, Zarco himself third on the individual timesheet in FP3.

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia topped the session with a 1m22.874s, putting him just 0.047s from Zarco’s overall best, while Quartararo held onto third on combined times and was second in FP3 with a 1m22.968s.

Honda’s Marc Marquez made a late charge up to fourth on the combined times with a 1m23.132s ahead of the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro, with Jack Miller securing a direct place in Q2 in sixth on the sister factory team Ducati.

Reigning world champion Joan Mir – who battled braking issues on Friday - is currently the only Suzuki into Q2 later this afternoon after Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins missed out by 0.001s in 11th.

The final riders directly into Q2 are LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami, KTM rider Brad Binder and the second factory Honda of Pol Espargaro.

Martin was on course to get himself into Q2 with his final flying lap, but the Pramac Ducati rider crashed at the final corner.

This left him in 13th on combined times and in Q1, while yellow flags for the crash ended hopes of Q2 progression for the likes of KTM’s Miguel Oliveira in 14th and LCR’s Alex Marquez.

They will be joined in Q1 later this afternoon by Avintia duo Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini – who had an early crash at Turn 1 - Petronas SRT’s Valentino Rossi and Cal Crutchlow and the Tech3 KTM’s of FP2 pace-setter Iker Lecuona and Danilo Petrucci.

FP3 results:

Cla Rider Bike Laps Time Gap
1 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 21 1'22.874  
2 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 21 1'22.968 0.094
3 France Johann Zarco Ducati 23 1'23.012 0.138
4 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 22 1'23.132 0.258
5 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 19 1'23.138 0.264
6 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 23 1'23.245 0.371
7 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 24 1'23.320 0.446
8 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 22 1'23.362 0.488
9 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 20 1'23.453 0.579
10 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 21 1'23.481 0.607
11 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 23 1'23.482 0.608
12 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 22 1'23.527 0.653
13 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 19 1'23.558 0.684
14 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 22 1'23.677 0.803
15 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 21 1'23.687 0.813
16 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 23 1'23.695 0.821
17 Spain Iker Lecuona KTM 22 1'23.706 0.832
18 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 19 1'24.033 1.159
19 Italy Danilo Petrucci KTM 20 1'24.074 1.200
20 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 22 1'24.193 1.319
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