The premier class fought for that valuable top 10 in a sweltering Sachsenring and after refining their race pace for a bit, the first of two time attacks started in the final 15 minutes. What both of those attacks had in common was Fabio Quartararo’s name at the top of the timesheets, the Frenchman ending the session quickest and with few rivals able to threaten him with red sector times or match his pace over the session. Jack Miller came closest in the standings, five hundredths of a second behind the leader and two hundredths ahead of colleague Johann Zarco, both Ducatis showing great race pace as well.
After leading the way on Friday, Miguel Oliveira was slower to improve on the combined standings but still kept fourth place and similar rhythm to the men ahead. Aleix Espargaro in fifth posted an identical time to the KTM rider, while Jorge Martin did an amazing job with a late jump into sixth. Takaaki Nakagami wanted none of that fancy new aero and was still quick enough for seventh place, only two tenths off the lead, while Pecco Bagnaia saved the day with eighth place, after a pretty anonymous Friday.
Having skipped the speed run on Friday, Marc Marquez was in time attack mode for most of FP3, spending all session on soft rear tyres, including a long run that was fairly unusual for the Honda. The Spaniard led the way early on and gave hints at session-topping speed but some minor rodeo moments, running as wide as the Pacific at turn 10 and a track limits inconvenience meant he had to settle for ninth in the end. There were still reasons to celebrate for the household, as Alex Marquez managed to cling onto a top 10 position and placed both LCR machines directly in Q2.
With a top 10 covered by only three tenths of a second, a few of the big hitters will be entertaining us in Q2, Joan Mir the first under the line by only two hundredths of a second and closely followed by Franco Morbidelli. Maverick Viñales showed pace to match the leaders throughout the session, but a mistake at the wrong time cost him dearly once more. As things were heating up in the final time attack, the Yamaha man crashed out at turn 1 and was left in a vulnerable position on the timesheets. He was fortunately close to the pits and rushed to his second machine for another attempt but couldn’t do any better than 13th. Alex Rins wasn’t spared trouble either, the Suzuki rider starting the session with some technical issues but it didn’t lose him much time and he eventually finished 14th, albeit only half a second off the lead. Q1 should be a pretty spicy affair, with Pol Espargaro also looking to contribute, as he didn’t get a chance at a final time attack due to a crash at turn 8.