Motegi MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso back on top for Ducati in practice

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso returned to the top of the timesheets in third practice for MotoGP's Japanese Grand Prix, narrowly edging Cal Crutchlow and Johann Zarco

Motegi MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso back on top for Ducati in practice

After Friday's second session was rendered unrepresentative by rain, Saturday morning's session took place in sunny weather - although it took until the final couple of minutes for Friday morning's best times to be beaten.

With 10 minutes left on the clock, the top six overall remained unchanged from Friday - with only a handful of riders improving prior to the all-important final runs.

LCR rider Crutchlow was first to beat Dovizioso's practice one benchmark with a 1m45.134s, with Honda stablemate Marc Marquez slotting into second moments later with a time 0.155 seconds slower.

But Dovizioso was able to go 0.027s quicker than Crutchlow on his final run to retake the top spot with a 1m45.107s.

A late improvement for the Tech3 Yamaha of Zarco shuffled Marquez down to fourth place, the Frenchman ending up just three thousandths shy of Crutchlow - creating an identical top four to first practice.

Valentino Rossi had dropped as low as 11th in the closing stages, outside the automatic Q2 cut-off, but the factory Yamaha rider booked his place in the pole shootout by going fifth fastest on his final lap. He was 0.315s off the pace.

Dani Pedrosa (Honda) was next up, followed by Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) and the lead Suzuki of Alex Rins.

Taking the final automatic Q2 places were Andrea Iannone and Jack Miller, whose Pramac Ducati team-mate Danilo Petrucci ruled himself out with a late crash at the Turn 12 kink near the end of the lap.

Alvaro Bautista also found himself squeezed out of the top 10, 0.054s behind Miller.

Katsuyuki Nakasuga led Japanese home hopes in 14th on his wildcard Yamaha, two places ahead of LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami.

Sylvain Guintoli, riding a 2019-spec machine for Suzuki this weekend, was slowest in the session and on combined times beat only the Avintia Ducati of Jordi Torres - who had an early fall at the Turn 7 right-hander.

FP3 times

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap Laps
1 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m45.107s - 16
2 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 1m45.134s 0.027s 18
3 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m45.137s 0.030s 19
4 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m45.289s 0.182s 19
5 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m45.422s 0.315s 19
6 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 1m45.428s 0.321s 19
7 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 1m45.470s 0.363s 18
8 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 1m45.508s 0.401s 20
9 Andrea Iannone Suzuki Suzuki 1m45.599s 0.492s 19
10 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m45.688s 0.581s 19
11 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m45.742s 0.635s 20
12 Franco Morbidelli MVDS Honda Honda 1m46.125s 1.018s 19
13 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m46.216s 1.109s 16
14 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha Yamaha 1m46.341s 1.234s 19
15 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 1m46.488s 1.381s 18
16 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 1m46.491s 1.384s 19
17 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 1m46.518s 1.411s 16
18 Scott Redding Aprilia Aprilia 1m46.561s 1.454s 16
19 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m46.579s 1.472s 17
20 Xavier Simeon Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m46.608s 1.501s 14
21 Thomas Luthi MVDS Honda Honda 1m47.048s 1.941s 18
22 Bradley Smith KTM KTM 1m47.179s 2.072s 17
23 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m47.387s 2.280s 18
24 Jordi Torres Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m47.542s 2.435s 16
25 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki Suzuki 1m47.893s 2.786s 17


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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Andrea Dovizioso
Teams Ducati Team , AB Motoracing
Author Jamie Klein
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