The hottest session yet in Mugello offered a good opportunity to put in some serious laps on the preferred race option, which appeared to be the hard front and medium rear tyre combination. Unless you’re Marc Marquez - which is a phrase often used. The hard front was both a popular option given the track conditions and the cause of a handful of crashes as the riders were getting up to speed. Hafizh Syahrin opened the doors to the gravel trap ten minutes into the session and was swiftly followed by teammate Johann Zarco, the Honda of Dani Pedrosa, Alex Rins’ Suzuki and eventually the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro.
If all those riders had their sessions hindered by these incidents, there was no such trouble for the weekend’s most consistently fast man, Andrea Iannone. The Italian was once again very fast on used tyres, with Jorge Lorenzo challenging him for the shop window. The Spaniard was rapid and consistent, less than a tenth behind the Italian.
Andrea Dovizoso made it two Ducatis ahead of the leading Honda of Marc Marquez, both riders displaying consistent laps in the high 1:47s and low 1:48s. The Repsol man oddly started the session on a medium front while also finally showcasing the mythical carbon fibre swingarm. If the top four men looked to have similar pace, Maverick Viñales would have also been encouraged by his fifth position, two tenths off the leader, with teammate Valentino Rossi breathing down his neck only four hundredths of a second behind.
Despite the crash, Rins kept himself in seventh position, although the Spaniard missed out on precious track time. The same could be said for Zarco in ninth, sandwiched in between Jack Miller and Danilo Petrucci, with Franco Morbidelli once again threatening the top ten. Fellow Honda riders Cal Crutchlow and Pedrosa had a tough morning outside the top 15.