Cooler temperatures, gusty winds and a bumpy track conspired to create a crash-filled third practice at the Circuit of the Americas Saturday but the season's dominant rider so far, Maverick Vinales, appeared untroubled by the chaos around him.
Vinales, winner of the seasson's first two races, became the first MotoGP rider at the Circuit of the Americas to dip into the 2'03s this weekend with a 2'03.979 on his second-to-last lap of the morning session that saw multiple crashes including two from reigning world champion Marc Marquez.
And Marquez was hardly the only crasher. Alex Rins, Andrea Dovizioso, Andrea Iannone, Alvaro Bautista, Aleix Espargaro (twice), Alex Lowes, Jorge Lorenzo all went down in the session with riders blaming track temperatures that were 20-degrees (F) cooler than Friday and a bumpy, unpredicable, humid surface that has upset the handling of nearly all of the bikes.
Nearly, but not all. None of the four Yamahas crashed Saturday morning -- neither did any of the KTMs but they are much further down the order. The Yamaha chassis seemingly copes well with the uneven track that has left nearly all of the riders complaining about the condition of the surface. Marquez, in an interview with the Spanish press, noted that he followed Johann Zarco for a time on the track.
The Yamaha chassis at full lean, he said, seems to move through the bumps largely undisturbed while the Honda is bucking and weaving mid-corner. A clear indication of the Honda's difficult, unpredicable handling at the Texas track this year, Marquez managed both a lowside at Turn 15 and a highside minutes later at Turn 18 in FP3.
Riders who advance straight to Q2 in bold when combined practice times from FP1 and FP2 are factored in. The top two riders from Q1 also will advance to Q2.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time||Diff. / Prev.|
|2||26||Dani PEDROSA||Honda||2'04.296||0.317 / 0.317|
|3||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||Honda||2'04.677||0.698 / 0.381|
|4||93||Marc MARQUEZ||Honda||2'04.687||0.708 / 0.010|
|5||45||Scott REDDING||Ducati||2'04.956||0.977 / 0.269|
|6||43||Jack MILLER||Honda||2'05.272||1.293 / 0.316|
|7||5||Johann ZARCO||Yamaha||2'05.653||1.674 / 0.381|
|8||76||Loris BAZ||Ducati||2'05.752||1.773 / 0.099|
|9||53||Tito RABAT||Honda||2'05.768||1.789 / 0.016|
|10||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||Ducati||2'05.872||1.893 / 0.104|
|11||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||2'05.910||1.931 / 0.038|
|12||99||Jorge LORENZO||Ducati||2'05.930||1.951 / 0.020|
|13||94||Jonas FOLGER||Yamaha||2'06.127||2.148 / 0.197|
|14||8||Hector BARBERA||Ducati||2'06.188||2.209 / 0.061|
|15||46||Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha||2'06.915||2.936 / 0.727|
|16||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||Aprilia||2'07.538||3.559 / 0.623|
|17||38||Bradley SMITH||KTM||2'08.257||4.278 / 0.719|
|18||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||Ducati||2'08.350||4.371 / 0.093|
|19||44||Pol ESPARGARO||KTM||2'09.044||5.065 / 0.694|
|20||17||Karel ABRAHAM||Ducati||2'09.135||5.156 / 0.091|
|21||22||Sam LOWES||Aprilia||2'10.418||6.439 / 1.283|
|22||29||Andrea IANNONE||Suzuki||2'12.196||8.217 / 1.778|