MotoGP Le Mans: Redding leads in FP3, Pedrosa and Lorenzo struggle

Scott Redding led fellow Briton Cal Crutchlow in a drying third practice for MotoGP's French Grand Prix, as Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo finished at the bottom of the times

MotoGP Le Mans: Redding leads in FP3, Pedrosa and Lorenzo struggle

Pramac Ducati's Redding dominated a late shootout on slick tyres and reclaimed top spot after the chequered flag, both KTMs secured Q2 places, while Pedrosa and Lorenzo finished more than five seconds off the pace and will contest the first phase of qualifying.

After Friday's wet sessions, further rain into the evening meant the circuit was damp-but-drying again on a sunny Saturday morning, with initial laps on wets four seconds off the pace set by Jack Miller in first practice.

In the early stages, Danilo Petrucci exiting Turn 1 and Maverick Vinales at Turn 6 ran wide but both stayed upright as riders lapped cautiously.

Midfield in the combined order after two sessions, Pedrosa and Ducati's Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso were the first riders to improve on their times set on Friday, 15 minutes in, Pedrosa moving into the lead of the session on a 1m41.354s.

Last-start winner Pedrosa and Lorenzo failed to improve thereafter, even having switched to slicks in the closing stages, and finished 22nd and 23rd, 5.680 seconds and 5.934s adrift.

Local hero Johann Zarco was the first to head out onto slicks, just before the midway point, followed by championship leader Valentino Rossi.

Times remained off those set on Friday with the third sector appearing the wettest, as Suzuki stand-in Sylvain Guintoli lost the front end in a low-speed crash at Turn 3 with 17 minutes remaining.

Redding was the first to make a serious move on slicks, setting a 1m39.614s to take top spot and move from 17th to fifth in the combined order.

Miller turned a 1m38.982s but then fell at Turn 3, as Redding improved again to a 1m38.942s and then 1m38.339s to move up to second overall as the shootout to claim one of the 10 guaranteed places in Q2 started.

Redding displaced Miller at the top of the order with seven minutes to go with a 1m37.435s, as Marc Marquez, Vinales and Rossi also made gains to slot into third, fourth and fifth behind Miller.

Crutchlow set a new benchmark of 1m36.461s, but was quickly displaced as Redding reclaimed top spot with a 1m36.340s with three minutes remaining.

Rossi and then Miller on his second Marc VDS Honda both spent time at the top inside the final 60 seconds, but Redding was not done, turning a 1m35.674s after the chequered flag finish fastest.

LCR Honda's Crutchlow also improved on his final lap to finish 0.361 seconds behind, ahead of Miller, Rossi, Marquez and Karel Abraham.

The KTMs excelled in the mixed conditions, Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith setting the seventh- and 10th-fastest times to book places in Q2, in just the Austrian brand's fifth full-time MotoGP start.

Vinales and Loris Baz booked the other two spots in eighth and ninth, while just 0.068s ultimately split Smith in 10th and Petrucci in 14th. Dovizioso was in that group in 12th, while Zarco crashed at Turn 11 in the closing stages and wound up 15th.

FP3 TIMES:

Pos Rider Team Gap Laps
1 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 1m35.674s 18
2 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 0.361s 12
3 Jack Miller MVDS Honda 0.448s 10
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 0.511s 22
5 Marc Marquez Honda 0.680s 16
6 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati 0.823s 13
7 Pol Espargaro KTM 0.938s 17
8 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 0.942s 15
9 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati 1.078s 17
10 Bradley Smith KTM 1.131s 15
11 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati 1.147s 21
12 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1.149s 18
13 Sam Lowes Aprilia 1.165s 16
14 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 1.199s 18
15 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha 1.790s 18
16 Jonas Folger Tech3 Yamaha 1.936s 13
17 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 2.098s 18
18 Tito Rabat MVDS Honda 3.214s 22
19 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki 3.257s 15
20 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 4.056s 9
21 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati 4.699s 19
22 Dani Pedrosa Honda 5.680s 17
23 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 5.934s 20

shares
comments
MotoGP to revert to late-2016 Michelin front tyre from Mugello

Previous article

MotoGP to revert to late-2016 Michelin front tyre from Mugello

Next article

Le Mans MotoGP: Maverick Vinales leads all-Yamaha front row

Le Mans MotoGP: Maverick Vinales leads all-Yamaha front row
Load comments
Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Plus

Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Plus

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Plus

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Plus

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Plus

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021