As expected, times have dropped substantially since the lunch break here in Austin, where the temperature is flirting with 80 degrees (F). The Hondas have made more progress in the Spring sunshine, with Marquez dropping over 4 seconds from his previous pace. The Yamahas have trimmed their times, but to lesser degrees.
It's already becoming common to see Marc Marquez atop a time sheet, although the gap of nearly half a second to Pedrosa might be worthy of a raised eyebrow or two. Stefan Bradl performed yeoman's work putting his LCR Honda in front of both factory Yamahas for much of the afternoon. A late session charge by Lorenzo carved out .7 seconds of his previous time to salvage Yamaha's position close to the HRC duo.
Today's action has been relatively clean; with so few bikes on COTA's spacious track, there are few conflicts for territory. Earlier in the day Blake Young crashed his Attack Performance CRT bike, but any on-track carnage seems to have only slowed Attack.
Rossi completed 68 laps, with all other factory riders putting in 50-ish laps. It is not for lack of trying that Rossi finds himself well back of the action at what is effectively a neutral site for all participants.