Valencia MotoGP: Quartararo heads Marquez in Saturday practice

Lewis Duncan
Quartararo continues dominance into Saturday
Quartararo continues dominance into Saturday

Fabio Quartararo did not relent his stranglehold on MotoGP's Valencia Grand Prix practice timesheets on Saturday morning, topping the session by 0.224 seconds from Marc Marquez.

Friday pacesetter Quartararo had led third practice in the early running, and took back over late on with a 1m30.232s to head into this afternoon's qualifying as the rider to beat.

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Marquez edged clear of the field with a 1m31.631s five minutes in, which he duly improved by six tenths before becoming the first rider to improve on combined times with a 1m30.898s - a laptime just 0.163s outside Quartararo's Friday best.

This moved the Honda rider half a second clear of the field in practice three but kept him third overall on combined times.

Marquez's lap would remain the benchmark in the session until the closing stages.

Quartararo's Petronas SRT Yamaha team-mate Franco Morbidelli challenged Marquez's time as the session entered its final eight minutes, but missed out by 0.086s.

Four minutes later, works Yamaha runner Maverick Vinales deposed Marquez with a 1m30.766s, before his team-mate Valentino Rossi took over at the top of the combined times with a 1m30.630s.

Pramac's Jack Miller, who had also led early on, returned to the top of the standings shortly after Rossi set his pacesetting lap with a 1m30.543s, though Quartararo was by then starting to light up the timing screens.

Quartararo produced a 1m30.232s, which would not be bettered as the chequered flag brought the session to an end, with Marquez leaping up to second with a final effort of 1m30.456s.

Quartararo continues dominance into Saturday
Quartararo continues dominance into Saturday

Miller held onto third ahead of Rossi and Morbidelli, while Vinales found himself shuffled back to sixth after the final salvo of laps.

Factory Ducati duo Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso slotted in behind the Yamaha rider, with Joan Mir the only Suzuki directly into Q2 after team-mate Alex Rins missed out in 12th.

LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow secured the last direct Q2 placement despite suffering a crash at the Turn 10 right-hander midway through the session.

Aleix Espargaro - who was 18th - crashed his Aprilia twice in practice three, while Pramac's Francesco Bagnaia was sent over the handlebars of his GP18 while exiting pitlane late on in a bizarre incident.

KTM rider Pol Espargaro was denied direct passage to Q2 by just 0.043s in the end, having sat second in the session at one point in the closing stages.

Tech3 KTM rookie Iker Lecuona had an impressive second morning as a MotoGP rider, as he managed to find a further eight tenths on his Friday best and ended up ahead of works KTM rider Mika Kallio, Bagnaia and his Tech3 team-mate Hafizh Syahrin in 20th.

Practice three times

Pos

Rider

Team

Time

Gap

Laps

1

Fabio Quartararo

Petronas Yamaha

1m30.232s

-

20

2

Marc Marquez

Honda

1m30.456s

0.224s

22

3

Jack Miller

Pramac Ducati

1m30.543s

0.311s

19

4

Valentino Rossi

Yamaha

1m30.630s

0.398s

22

5

Franco Morbidelli

Petronas Yamaha

1m30.723s

0.491s

22

6

Maverick Vinales

Yamaha

1m30.735s

0.503s

20

7

Danilo Petrucci

Ducati

1m30.847s

0.615s

21

8

Andrea Dovizioso

Ducati

1m30.851s

0.619s

22

9

Joan Mir

Suzuki

1m30.958s

0.726s

23

10

Cal Crutchlow

LCR Honda

1m30.996s

0.764s

19

11

Pol Espargaro

KTM

1m31.039s

0.807s

20

12

Alex Rins

Suzuki

1m31.093s

0.861s

23

13

Johann Zarco

LCR Honda

1m31.205s

0.973s

22

14

Jorge Lorenzo

Honda

1m31.383s

1.151s

19

15

Andrea Iannone

Aprilia

1m31.667s

1.435s

22

16

Michele Pirro

Ducati

1m31.671s

1.439s

19

17

Karel Abraham

Avintia Ducati

1m31.786s

1.554s

19

18

Aleix Espargaro

Aprilia

1m31.868s

1.636s

13

19

Tito Rabat

Avintia Ducati

1m32.265s

2.033s

24

20

Iker Lecuona

Tech3 KTM

1m32.398s

2.166s

20

21

Mika Kallio

KTM

1m32.521s

2.289s

21

22

Francesco Bagnaia

Pramac Ducati

1m32.599s

2.367s

15

23

Hafizh Syahrin

Tech3 KTM

1m33.046s

2.814s

18


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