With warm but not sun-tanning weather, the premier class riders were not in a big hurry to challenge Friday times, although the likes of Marc Marquez and Maverick Viñales teased us with some red sectors here and there. As it happens, the Spanish rivals were still the main actors come the end of the session.
The riders left it late to go for their quali dummy run, saving only the final four minutes for fresh rubber. Marquez was the first to dethrone Danilo Petrucci’s Friday achievement by mere hundredths of a second but he proceeded to put any thoughts of changing the hierarchy to rest on the very next lap by posting the first and only time of the weekend into the 1:32s. The world champion was one of the few riders to kickstart his session on the hard rear tyre, getting close to his best Friday time in the eleven laps put in on the tyre. Going out on mediums for his second run, Marquez posted an impressive run of mid-to-low 1:33s to show good pace on both tyres.
Viñales eventually cut Marquez’s gap to a tenth of a second but could not break into the 1:32s himself and had to settle for second position. Third spot went to Cal Crutchlow, followed by the Ducati duo of Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo. Despite failing to improve on his Friday time, the world championship leader was still fifth on combined timings, with Lorenzo seventh, Dani Pedrosa stuck between them in sixth. The Spaniard was an unlikely faller in turn eight in the final two minutes, which meant he also did not improve his time and was eighth fastest in FP3. He was soon followed on the crash list by Johann Zarco, the Frenchman still sixth in the session and eight overall.
Aleix Espargaro sneaked into Q2 after finishing seventh in the session, with both Ducatis of Petrucci and Michele Pirro not managing to improve their Friday times and completing the top ten in the session, although that did not impact on their Q2 chances – Petrucci third on combined standings and Pirro ninth.