It took exactly six-tenths of a second for Marc Marquez to explain to the field who is the favorite on Sunday come rain or shine. The reigning world champion dropped into the 1'48s and gapped the field by more than half a second during Saturday's FP3 at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina.
Marquez, who led the session intermittently as a track conditions changed from damp to wet and back to damp, set his fastest lap with 13 seconds left after he had slid down to ninth over the final five minutes. Marquez's final fast lap dropped Johann Zarco into second after briefly leading FP3. Alvaro Bautista seized third as track conditions and the order rapidly changed over the final minute.
Karel Abraham made a surprise visit to the top of the order for fifth, just in front of Danilo Petrucci (6th) who was the final rider in the 1'49s. Cal Crutchlow (7th) ended the session as the second-fastest Honda rider. Hafizh Syahrin finished in eighth, the second-fastest Yamaha -- but neither of the Yamahas in FP3 top 10 were factory bikes.
Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso, well off the pace in the dry, used the difficult track conditions to climb into ninth, less than a tenth of a second in front of Dani Pedrosa (10th).
Intermittent rain is expected through the afternoon qualifying sessions.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time||Diff. / Prev.|
|2||5||Johann ZARCO||Yamaha||1'49.503||0.607 / 0.607|
|3||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||Ducati||1'49.828||0.932 / 0.325|
|4||17||Karel ABRAHAM||Ducati||1'49.892||0.996 / 0.064|
|5||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||Ducati||1'49.948||1.052 / 0.056|
|6||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||Honda||1'50.149||1.253 / 0.201|
|7||44||Pol ESPARGARO||KTM||1'50.245||1.349 / 0.096|
|8||55||Hafizh SYAHRIN||Yamaha||1'50.261||1.365 / 0.016|
|9||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||1'50.396||1.500 / 0.135|
|10||26||Dani PEDROSA||Honda||1'50.463||1.567 / 0.067|
|11||46||Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha||1'50.645||1.749 / 0.182|
|12||29||Andrea IANNONE||Suzuki||1'50.679||1.783 / 0.034|
|13||25||Maverick VIÑALES||Yamaha||1'50.685||1.789 / 0.006|
|14||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||Aprilia||1'50.747||1.851 / 0.062|
|15||45||Scott REDDING||Aprilia||1'50.972||2.076 / 0.225|
|16||99||Jorge LORENZO||Ducati||1'51.001||2.105 / 0.029|
|17||53||Tito RABAT||Ducati||1'51.051||2.155 / 0.050|
|18||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||Honda||1'51.170||2.274 / 0.119|
|19||42||Alex RINS||Suzuki||1'51.197||2.301 / 0.027|
|20||38||Bradley SMITH||KTM||1'51.296||2.400 / 0.099|
|21||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||Honda||1'51.636||2.740 / 0.340|
|22||12||Thomas LUTHI||Honda||1'52.352||3.456 / 0.716|
|23||10||Xavier SIMEON||Ducati||1'52.462||3.566 / 0.110|
|24||43||Jack MILLER||Ducati||1'52.648||3.752 / 0.186|