Marc Marquez continues to top Austin MotoGP practice for Honda

Honda's Marc Marquez continued his perfect start to the Austin MotoGP weekend, topping Saturday morning's third practice session

Marc Marquez continues to top Austin MotoGP practice for Honda

Already a three-time winner at the Circuit of the Americas, Marquez had dominated Friday's running, but his advantage on Saturday morning was significantly smaller.

He improved on his own overnight benchmark with a time of 2m03.885s early, 0.5425 seconds up on the field at the time.

The fastest laps of the session came in the final four minutes and, on a slightly-used medium rear tyre, Marquez set consecutive times of 2m03.861s, 2m03.839s and finally 2m03.741s to lead the way.

Most of Marquez's closest challengers were on new soft rear tyres, including Ducati's Andrea Iannone, who logged a late 2m03.937s to finish 0.196s behind the Spaniard.

Jorge Lorenzo was third, the Yamaha rider 0.590s down on Marquez but marginally ahead of Suzuki's Maverick Vinales.

Inside the final minute, LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow jumped up from 13th to third with a time of 2m04.408s, and while he dropped to fifth after the chequered flag, he has still done enough to book a spot in the second phase of qualifying.

Valentino Rossi was sixth, ahead of Dani Pedrosa, Loris Baz and Andrea Dovizioso, who fell at Turn 11 halfway through the session.

Crutchlow's lap bumped fellow Briton Scott Redding out of the top 10, but the Pramac Ducati rider was able to improve at the death to a 2m04.796s to snatch 10th and a Q2 spot from Pol Espargaro by just 0.014s.

Hector Barbara looked set to join Avintia Ducati team-mate Baz inside the top 10, but was hurt by a late visit to pitlane for a suspected brake problem, falling to 13th.

Following his crash in first practice on Friday, secondary x-rays on Saturday morning identified broken bones in Jack Miller's right foot.

The Marc VDS Honda rider persisted through the session with more pain than he felt on Friday, and improved by more than one second on his Friday time and finished 17th.

Bradley Smith's tough start to 2015 continued, with Tech3 Yamaha trying a completely different set-up direction, only for last year's top satellite rider to finish 19th, 2.221s off Marquez's pace.

PRACTICE THREE TIMES

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap Laps
1 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 2m03.741s - 17
2 Andrea Iannone Ducati Ducati 2m03.937s 0.196s 16
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha 2m04.331s 0.590s 16
4 Maverick Vinales Suzuki Suzuki 2m04.336s 0.595s 16
5 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 2m04.408s 0.667s 15
6 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 2m04.450s 0.709s 17
7 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 2m04.524s 0.783s 16
8 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati Ducati 2m04.576s 0.835s 15
9 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 2m04.741s 1.000s 12
10 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati Ducati 2m04.769s 1.028s 15
11 Pol Espargaro Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 2m04.783s 1.042s 17
12 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki Suzuki 2m05.061s 1.320s 16
13 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati Ducati 2m05.207s 1.466s 13
14 Michele Pirro Pramac Ducati Ducati 2m05.288s 1.547s 15
15 Yonny Hernandez Aspar Ducati Ducati 2m05.378s 1.637s 14
16 Stefan Bradl Aprilia Aprilia 2m05.616s 1.875s 15
17 Jack Miller Marc VDS Honda Honda 2m05.684s 1.943s 9
18 Bradley Smith Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 2m05.962s 2.221s 16
19 Eugene Laverty Aspar Ducati Ducati 2m06.179s 2.438s 14
20 Tito Rabat Marc VDS Honda Honda 2m06.444s 2.703s 19
21 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia Aprilia 2m06.488s 2.747s 16


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