MotoGP Portugal: Miller fastest in FP3, world champion Mir misses Q2 cut

Pramac's Jack Miller led Tech3's Miguel Oliveira in FP3 for the Portuguese Grand Prix, as new MotoGP world champion Joan Mir missed the Q2 cut on his Suzuki

MotoGP Portugal: Miller fastest in FP3, world champion Mir misses Q2 cut

As is typical in FP3 sessions, improvements on the combined order relevant to the Q2 progression places weren't had for much of the opening half of the 45-minute outing.

Honda duo Alex Marquez and Stefan Bradl, LCR counterpart Takaaki Nakagami and home hero Miguel Oliveira on the Tech3 KTM all took turns leading the individual FP3 timesheet across the first 15 minutes.

Oliveira's 1m40.290s was beaten by Nakagami with a 1m40.114s with just over 17 minutes to go, before the Japanese rider moved up to ninth overall with a 1m39.804s on his first soft tyre time attack.

Pramac's Miller finally deposed Friday pacesetter Johann Zarco with 12 minutes remaining, guiding his Ducati GP20 to a 1m39.414s, while Petronas SRT's Fabio Quartararo moved up to third.

This stood as the benchmark until the closing two minutes, as a final salvo of laps shook up the order.

Oliveira edged ahead of Miller first with a 1m39.372s, before an injured Alex Rins took over top spot on his Suzuki with a 1m39.355s.

Oliveira's final effort of a 1m39.330s put him back on top of the pile for all of a few seconds, as Miller took the chequered flag with a 1m39.205s to end the morning 0.125 seconds clear of the field.

Rins held onto third spot ahead of Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso ahead of his final race before taking a sabbatical, with Nakagami rounding out the top five.

Fabio Quartararo has secured a place in Q2 after finishing FP3 sixth on his Petronas SRT Yamaha, though currently will not be joined by team-mate Franco Morbidelli.

The Italian was ninth on the FP3 timesheets, but his 1m39.619s was only good enough for 11th on the combined times.

KTM's Pol Espargaro survived a scary moment early in the session when he ran onto the grass on the run into Turn 7 to end FP3 seventh, with Bradl eighth and Yamaha's Maverick Vinales rounding out the top 10.

Vinales did not improve on his 1m39.536s from FP2, but still secures a place in Q2, with Zarco also holding onto a top 10 place on combined times despite ending FP3 13th.

World champion Joan Mir was only 15th in FP3 on the Suzuki and faces a tough Q1 session ahead, with the likes of LCR's Cal Crutchlow, Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro, Marquez and KTM's Brad Binder joining him in the first part of qualifying this afternoon.

Valentino Rossi's tough weekend failed to improve on Saturday morning, with the Yamaha rider 1.5s off the pace in 20th ahead of Avintia's Tito Rabat and Tech3 stand-in Mika Kallio.

MotoGP Portuguese GP FP3 results

Pos Rider Team Gap
1 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati 1m39.205s
2 Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM 0.125s
3 Alex Rins Suzuki 0.150s
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 0.199s
5 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 0.206s
6 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha 0.275s
7 Pol Espargaro KTM 0.308s
8 Stefan Bradl Honda 0.364s
9 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha 0.414s
10 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 0.488s
11 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 0.512s
12 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 0.527s
13 Johann Zarco Avintia Ducati 0.596s
14 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 0.729s
15 Joan Mir Suzuki 0.746s
16 Alex Marquez Honda 0.800s
17 Brad Binder KTM 0.825s
18 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati 1.243s
19 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1.279s
20 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1.517s
21 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati 2.787s
22 Mika Kallio Tech3 KTM 3.263s

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Joan Mir , Jack Miller
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Lewis Duncan
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