MotoGP Qatar: Zarco leads final practice, Vinales to contest Q1

Tech3 Yamaha rider Johann Zarco set the pace in a largely meaningless third practice session for the MotoGP season opener in Qatar, while Valentino Rossi crashed

MotoGP Qatar: Zarco leads final practice, Vinales to contest Q1

Lap times in the daytime session were well off the pace of those set on Friday evening in FP2, meaning the combined top 10 order that determines who progresses automatically to Q2 remains unchanged.

Andrea Dovizioso's 1m54.361s second practice benchmark therefore went unchallenged, with Danilo Petrucci and Alex Rins completing the overall top three on the strength on their times from second practice.

Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Iannone, Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow, Rossi and Zarco are the remaining riders who will advance directly to Q2.

On the other hand, Maverick Vinales will have to fight his way through Q1 for only the third time since he joined Yamaha after ending up 11th on combined times.

Zarco was the sole rider to break the 1m55s barrier in FP3, recording a 1m54.966s at the tail end of the session to go quickest 0.497 seconds from Pramac Ducati rider Jack Miller.

The Australian stayed 14th in the overall times however, meaning he joins Vinales in Q1.

Petrucci, Marquez and Iannone completed the top five times, with Pedrosa the only other rider to get within a second of Zarco's best lap.

Rossi was ninth fastest after an eventful session that began with a crash at Turn 5 in the opening 10 minutes of the session.

He also had to tour back to the pits in the closing stages as the bottom part of his Yamaha's bodywork drooped and began to scrape against the track.

Avintia Ducati's Tito Rabat was the only other rider to crash, taking a late tumble at Turn 14.

The only riders to set personal best times of the weekend in FP3 were Rabat's team-mate Xavier Simeon and Alvaro Bautista (Nieto Ducati), but both remain at the bottom of the combined timesheets.

FP3 times

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap Laps
1 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m54.966s - 15
2 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m55.463s 0.497s 16
3 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m55.668s 0.702s 10
4 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m55.750s 0.784s 18
5 Andrea Iannone Suzuki Suzuki 1m55.777s 0.811s 15
6 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 1m55.830s 0.864s 17
7 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m55.980s 1.014s 10
8 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati Ducati 1m56.009s 1.043s 17
9 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m56.049s 1.083s 13
10 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 1m56.058s 1.092s 15
11 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 1m56.131s 1.165s 16
12 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 1m56.260s 1.294s 15
13 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 1m56.286s 1.320s 16
14 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m56.310s 1.344s 12
15 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m56.604s 1.638s 17
16 Franco Morbidelli MVDS Honda Honda 1m56.779s 1.813s 16
17 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m56.859s 1.893s 18
18 Scott Redding Aprilia Aprilia 1m56.875s 1.909s 13
19 Thomas Luthi MVDS Honda Honda 1m57.046s 2.080s 17
20 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 1m57.118s 2.152s 14
21 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m57.146s 2.180s 15
22 Bradley Smith KTM KTM 1m57.208s 2.242s 16
23 Xavier Simeon Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m57.519s 2.553s 14
24 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 1m57.688s 2.722s 17


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Series MotoGP
Drivers Johann Zarco
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Jamie Klein
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