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Mugello MotoGP: Valentino Rossi flies to the top in practice three

Valentino Rossi topped Saturday morning's third practice session for his home MotoGP race at Mugello, beating nearest rival Marc Marquez by more than three tenths of a second

The benchmark set by LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow on Friday, a 1m47.365s, was beaten early on in the 45-minute session by the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro, who went to the top of the times with a 1m47.173s.

That survived as the best time until the closing minutes, when the order was comprehensively reshuffled by a flurry of fast times set using soft tyres.

Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo was the first to beat Espargaro with a 1m46.911s with four minutes remaining, vaulting up from 14th place, before Honda man Marquez took over at the top with a 1m46.865s moments later.

But Marquez's time was beaten with just 30 seconds left on the clock by Rossi, who had suffered with arm pain on his way to 11th and 12th in Friday's sessions following his motocross crash last week.

The Yamaha rider clocked a 1m46.543s to end the session 0.322s clear of Marquez and 0.368s ahead of Lorenzo in third.

Alvaro Bautista put his 2016-spec Aspar Ducati in fourth, beating the second Yamaha of Maverick Vinales, who ended the session 0.429s adrift of team-mate Rossi.

Tito Rabat took full advantage of Marquez's slipstream to end up sixth aboard the Marc VDS Honda, followed by the remaining works Ducatis of Michele Pirro and Andrea Dovizioso and the second works Honda of Dani Pedrosa.

Espargaro's early time was just enough for him to take 10th and the final automatic berth in Q2, shading Johann Zarco on the best of the Tech3 Yamahas by less than a tenth.

Crutchlow, who crashed on his out-lap at the second part of the Biondetti esses, failed to improve on his Friday time and ended up 12th, ahead of the two Pramac Ducatis of Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci, the Italian crashing twice.

Andrea Iannone was the best of the Suzukis in 17th, one place ahead of lead KTM rider Pol Espargaro.

PRACTICE THREE TIMES:

Pos Rider Team Time Gap Laps
1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m46.543s - 20
2 Marc Marquez Honda 1m46.865s 0.322s 20
3 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 1m46.911s 0.368s 18
4 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati 1m46.959s 0.416s 20
5 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 1m46.972s 0.429s 20
6 Tito Rabat MVDS Honda 1m47.048s 0.505s 21
7 Michele Pirro Ducati 1m47.110s 0.567s 17
8 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m47.120s 0.577s 18
9 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m47.166s 0.623s 20
10 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1m47.173s 0.630s 16
11 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha 1m47.257s 0.714s 19
12 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 1m47.428s 0.885s 19
13 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 1m47.429s 0.886s 6
14 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1m47.456s 0.913s 15
15 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati 1m47.528s 0.985s 16
16 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 1m47.566s 1.023s 16
17 Jonas Folger Tech3 Yamaha 1m47.624s 1.081s 20
18 Pol Espargaro KTM 1m48.017s 1.474s 17
19 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati 1m48.096s 1.553s 18
20 Sam Lowes Aprilia 1m48.229s 1.686s 17
21 Jack Miller MVDS Honda 1m48.337s 1.794s 18
22 Bradley Smith KTM 1m48.531s 1.988s 18
23 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati 1m48.551s 2.008s 18
24 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki 1m49.212s 2.669s 21


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