The moody weather of Phillip Island was in fine form on Saturday, going from sun to drizzle and back in record time and the setting was back on dry and sunny for the final practice session of the premier class. The man who seemed to enjoy it most early on was Valentino Rossi, the Italian picking up top spot temporarily before Andrea Iannone reclaimed a familiar position for the Italian this weekend. Once Iannone hit the front, he had little opposition and grabbed the headline with a lap posted on fairly used rubber. Rossi also got outdone by teammate Maverick Viñales eventually and despite finishing third, the Yamaha veteran looked less than thrilled with his machine’s performance.
Andrea Dovizioso kept under the radar and while he did not show any devastating speed, the Italian finished fourth and with good pace on a soft-hard combination. Johann Zarco made it three Yamahas in the top five before the first Honda even made an appearance. With the hard rear tyre an overwhelmingly popular option, Marc Marquez was the oddity. Apparently determined to give the fragile soft rear tyre another punishment, Marquez used up an already battered set before swapping to the hard rear and posted similar consistent times in the mid 1:30s.
Alex Rins in seventh was the final rider to post a time within a second of teammate Iannone, whiel Hafizh Syahrin was fortunately back on track and inside the top eight despite his scary looking tumble in FP3. Unusually, Danilo Petrucci was another man who tested the soft rear and used it to finish ninth, with Alvaro Bautista rounding out the top ten. Dani Pedrosa was the only man to give the medium rear a look but only made it work enough for 14th position and with an eye on Q1.