Italian MotoGP: Bagnaia on record pace in FP3, Vinales crashes into Q1

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia topped FP3 for the MotoGP Italian Grand Prix with a new Mugello lap record as a late crash for Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales dropped him into Q1.

Italian MotoGP: Bagnaia on record pace in FP3, Vinales crashes into Q1

Pleasant conditions for the start of FP3 meant combined timesheet improvements were had almost instantly, with KTM’s Miguel Oliveira – armed with the RC16’s new chassis and fuel – jumping up to fourth overall and top in the session with a 1m46.331s early doors.

Pramac’s Johann Zarco fired in a 1m46.201s moments later to take over top spot in FP3 and move up to second on the combined times, finding a substantial six tenths on his Friday best.

His factory Ducati counterpart Bagnaia held onto top spot on the combined times based on his Friday best until the final 15 minutes of the session, when Yamaha’s Quartararo began to light up the timing screen.

The championship leader went fastest of all with a 1m45.807s, bettering this to a 1m45.701s on his following tour.

Quartararo’s charge continued with five minutes to go as he found a fraction more time to eke out his advantage at the top of the timesheets with a 1m45.613s.

Dropping to the cusp of the Q2 places as the session neared its conclusion, Bagnaia dug deep to set a new Mugello lap record of 1m45.456s to go top with just over two minutes remaining.

At the same time Yamaha’s Vinales slid off his M1 at the Correntaio right-hander at Turn 12, ending his session prematurely and putting him under pressure to actually secure a direct Q2 place for qualifying.

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia’s time went unchallenged at the end, the Italian heading Quartararo as KTM’s Brad Binder – who equalled MotoGP’s all-time top speed record of 362.4km/h in FP3 – jumping up to third late on.

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Jack Miller on the other factory Ducati was another late improver with a 1m45.701s, as was Zarco in fifth spot.

These improvements shoved Suzuki’s Alex Rins out of the top 10 in the dying stages, but he moved to sixth with a 1m45.725s – a lap which pushed Vinales into Q1 in 11th.

Oliveira ensured both factory KTM’s have secured direct passage to Q2 this afternoon ahead of world champion Joan Mir on the Suzuki, Honda’s sole representative so far in Q2 Pol Espargaro and Franco Morbidelli on the two-year-old Petronas SRT Yamaha.

Vinales’ late crash meant he missed a place directly in Q2 by just 0.030s, while the top 10 was split by only 0.409s.

The Yamaha ruder will be joined by a struggling Marc Marquez on the Honda in Q1 later this afternoon, with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro – who had to have a “coke can” of fluid drained from his arm after Friday following recent arm pump surgery – slipping to 13th.

Valentino Rossi did find some pace on Saturday, but will go into Q1 having only been able to go 18th-fastest in FP3 on his SRT Yamaha with a 1m46.358s.

MotoGP Italian Grand Prix free practice 3 standings

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap Interval
1 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'45.456    
2 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'45.613 0.157 0.157
3 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 1'45.652 0.196 0.039
4 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 1'45.701 0.245 0.049
5 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'45.725 0.269 0.024
6 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'45.754 0.298 0.029
7 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'45.791 0.335 0.037
8 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 1'45.825 0.369 0.034
9 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 1'45.858 0.402 0.033
10 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'45.865 0.409 0.007
11 Spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'45.895 0.439 0.030
12 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 1'46.013 0.557 0.118
13 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'46.015 0.559 0.002
14 Italy Michele Pirro Ducati 1'46.103 0.647 0.088
15 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'46.311 0.855 0.208
16 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 1'46.332 0.876 0.021
17 Italy Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'46.355 0.899 0.023
18 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'46.358 0.902 0.003
19 Italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1'46.447 0.991 0.089
20 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'46.627 1.171 0.180
21 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 1'46.853 1.397 0.226
22 Spain Iker Lecuona KTM 1'47.247 1.791 0.394
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