Doha MotoGP: Quartararo tops windy third practice

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo topped a wind-affected FP3 for the Doha Grand Prix, as MotoGP world champion Joan Mir once again missed the Q2 cut.

Doha MotoGP: Quartararo tops windy third practice

The wind had picked up considerably for the start of FP3, with a lot of dust being blown onto the Losail circuit which guaranteed there would be no combined time improvements.

Tech3 KTM rider Iker Lecuona set the early pace in the session with a 1m58.073s, before Quartararo moved ahead on his Yamaha with a 1m56.912s.

The Frenchman wasn’t happy with the feeling on his M1 on Friday in the lower grip conditions experienced by much of the field because of the humidity.

He continued to better his pace to a 1m56.723s, though Mir would depose him 10 minutes later with a 1m56.450s on his Suzuki.

Mir blamed a strategy gaffe by his Suzuki team on Friday evening in FP2 for stopping him advancing directly into Q2, with the Spaniard forced to go through Q1 for the second week in a row later today.

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Suzuki MotoGP

Mir's effort would remain the benchmark until the final three minutes, when team-mate Alex Rins moved to the top of the order with a 1m56.347s.

Rins looked set to end FP3 leading a Suzuki 1-2, but Quartararo produced a 1m56.064s at the death to end the session top – though Ducati’s Jack Miller remains fastest of all on combined times courtesy of his 1m53.145s from FP2.

The Suzuki duo rounded out the top three, Rins safely into Q2 with his FP2 effort, while Mir will join the likes of all four KTM riders, Honda’s Pol Espargaro and Valentino Rossi in Q1 later this evening.

Danilo Petrucci was fourth on his Tech3 KTM, but is only 12th on combined times and heads into Q1, while fifth-placed Maverick Vinales on the Yamaha will contest Q2.

Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli, who was sixth in FP3, will join Vinales in Q2, with the remainder of the top 10 in the session – Avintia’s Enea Bastianini, LCR’s Alex Marquez, Rossi and Pol Espargaro – all facing Q1.

Francesco Bagnaia was the only factory Ducati rider to spin some laps in FP3, with the Italian 14th, while Miller, Pramac duo Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin and Avintia’s Luca Marini didn’t set times.

All but Marini of that quartet secured their Q2 places on Friday, with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro (17th) and Honda’s Stefan Bradl (16th) the last of the direct entrants into the pole shootout session.

Qualifying for the Doha GP gets underway at 8pm local time (BST +2).

MotoGP Doha Grand Prix - FP3 results

Cla Rider Bike Laps Time Gap
1 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 12 1'56.064  
2 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 14 1'56.347 0.283
3 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 13 1'56.450 0.386
4 Italy Danilo Petrucci KTM 5 1'56.614 0.550
5 Spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 8 1'56.647 0.583
6 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 13 1'56.660 0.596
7 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 11 1'56.668 0.604
8 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 7 1'56.701 0.637
9 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 15 1'56.718 0.654
10 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 10 1'56.789 0.725
11 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 15 1'56.855 0.791
12 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 14 1'56.933 0.869
13 Spain Iker Lecuona KTM 13 1'56.981 0.917
14 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 6 1'57.335 1.271
15 Italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 15 1'57.378 1.314
16 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 12 1'57.450 1.386
17 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 5 1'58.633 2.569
18 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 4 2'03.348 7.284
19 France Johann Zarco Ducati 0    
20 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 1    
21 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 0    
22 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 0    
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