Championship leader Marc Marquez has topped a frantic MotoGP FP3 session as riders clambered for a direct route to this afternoons Q2 in a chaotic final few minutes. Marquez encountered technical problems in the opening stages of the session which were later identified as a new engine acting 'strangely'. In familiar style he didn't let the disruption effect him, he jumped on his second bike and went on to set the fastest ever MotoGP lap at the Motegi circuit, almost exactly one second quicker than his best Friday time. Andrea Dovizioso's quick lap from Friday was enough for him to take second place in combined times for Q1 qualification, while compatriot Valentino Rossi finished second in the session and completed the top three in combined times.
Fellow Yamaha rider and MotoGP rookie Pol Espargaro did a sterling job to set the fourth fastest combined time edging out the more senior Jorge Lorenzo and Ducati rider Andrea Iannone. Bradley Smith put in a solid performance to claim seventh place ahead of countryman Cal Crutchlow and Dani Pedrosa who struggled to find outright quick lap pace. Stefan Bradl's Friday time was enough to round out the top ten and completed the group of riders who qualify directly for this afternoons Q2 session. The likes of Alvaro Bautista, Aleix Espargaro, Yonny Hernandez and Hector Barbera will have to do things the hard way and fight for the final two Q2 slots in the Q1 session beforehand.
|11||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||Forward Yamaha||1'45.933||0.993||0.153|
|18||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||Forward Yamaha||1'47.414||2.474||0.013|
|23||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||Avintia||1'48.802||3.862||0.016|