Marc Marquez turned the thumbscrews in the final session of free practice for the MotoGP class, the Repsol Honda rider setting a blistering pace even in race set up, with only Jorge Lorenzo able to follow in the first part of FP3. Marquez remained ahead in the final part of the session, as riders started chasing quick times looking for safe passage straight into Q2. They came close, but nobody could quite match the pace of the man who has never lost a MotoGP race on American soil.
Bradley Smith was the man who got closest, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider bagging 2nd spot just three hundredths of a second behind Marquez. The gap behind Smith was much larger, Andrea Iannone taking 3rd nearly three tenths behind Smith and a third of a second behind Marquez. Dani Pedrosa had decent race pace during the first part of FP3, and pushed on to grab 4th spot once the final dash for Q2 started.
Pedrosa finished ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, the Movistar Yamaha rider ending up in 5th, just over four tenths behind Marc Marquez. But Lorenzo chose to focus on race pace, never bothering to push for a quick lap. Lorenzo used the second half of FP3 to do a long run of 14 laps, most of which were in the low 1'33s. Cal Crutchlow finished in 6th, just a few hundredths behind Lorenzo.
Behind Crutchlow, the two Espargaro brothers vied for position, Aleix taking 7th ahead of Pol in 8th. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider had a rough final few moments, however, crashing out with a couple of minutes to go, when his rear tire let go and then bit in Turn 2. Valentino Rossi made it through relatively comfortably to Q2, using the medium tire to propel himself up the order, but then sliding down to 9th as the session wound down. Maverick Viñales rounded out the top 10, one of the first riders to put in a very quick lap and then holding on to finish 10th.
The charge in the final few minutes proved costly for some of the factory riders. Andrea Dovizioso could not improve his time from Friday, and finished in 12th and forced to go through Q1, while Scott Redding could not find the extra couple of tenths which would have secured his slot in Q2, ending the session in 13th.
|19||63||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||1'34.332||1.940||0.279|
|22||15||Alex De Angelis||ART||1'35.188||2.796||0.580|