In the melting heat of the Catalonian afternoon, the tyre combinations were limited to the harder options, many riders trying on the medium rear after a good showing from Dani Pedrosa. Marc Marquez was fastest out the gates, but another crash in turn nine while he was pushing in the beginning of the session gave Pedrosa a turn at the lead on the hard front and medium rear tyre.
Like it is usually the case when the temperature setting is on ‘surface of the sun’, the small Spaniard went a second ahead of his teammate and setting a steady pace in the mid 1:45s. The Honda veteran also crashed into turn ten on the final lap but no one was able to get anywhere near his time.
Andrea Iannone made good use of the same tyre combination to split the two Spaniards and add a Suzuki filling to the Honda sandwich. Marquez also had a go at the medium rear in the final minutes of the session but could not rival his teammate’s pace on the tyre.
Jonas Folger was again the shining light for Yamaha, the Tech 3 rider finishing fourth. Encouraged by Pedrosa’s pace, the factory Yamahas also considered the medium rear (and pretty much every other setup change they could think of), Valentino Rossi improving to fifth, six tenths off the lead. He was followed closely by another great performance from Aleix Espargaro, the Spaniard looking quite fond of his home track.
After FP3 saw six Ducatis in the top ten, Jorge Lorenzo was their top rider in seventh place, leading the Pramac duo of Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci. Jack Miller completed the top ten, almost eight tenths down on Pedrosa.
Alvaro Bautista had his third crash of the weekend, this time in turn sixteen, and did not manage to replicate the good speed shown throughout the weekend, finishing twelfth. He was still three places ahead of Maverick Viñales who still seems lost on any tyre combination or setting option he tests. Mugello winner Andrea Dovizioso had an equally poor afternoon down in seventeenth, one place ahead of Johann Zarco.