With a bit of sunshine, a bit of cloud cover and a cooler surface, plenty of soft rubber had hit the track on Saturday morning. And unlike the usual FP3 session, most attention went to race runs as similar track conditions were forecasted for Sunday afternoon.
After finishing Friday in the gravel, Marc Marquez was on a mission to find his place back into the top ten overall and wasted no time in sorting that one out. Marquez shot into the lead of the session and third overall in the first ten minutes then carried on work as usual. Unfortunately for the world champion, that routine also included a turn 10 crash on a red hot lap in the final three minutes. The domino that followed saw him go from hero to zero as the final shootout saw enough improvements to push the Repsol Honda man into 11th position on the combined standings and into a surprising Q1.
The man to deal the final blow was ironically Andrea Dovizioso, the Italian shooting into the lead at the very last minute to post the fastest time of the weekend by only seven thousandths of a second from his teammate. Jorge Lorenzo did not join the late party for top honours and gambled on his FP2 time for the overall classification. That worked out just fine with the Spaniard finishing second overall despite being 12th in the session and spending his morning being impressively fast on fairly used soft tyres.
Maverick Viñales got the title of top Yamaha with second in the session and third overall, less than a tenth of a second separating him from the leader. Cal Crutchlow accidentally ditched his aero appendages in the gravel trap halfway through the session but recovered to grab third in FP3 and fifth place on combined standings. Much like Lorenzo, Andrea Iannone also bid on his Friday benchmark and guaranteed himself a fourth position overall with excellent pace on used soft rubber despite only being 11th in the session.
After appearing to struggle throughout the weekend, Johann Zarco climbed into fourth in FP3 and sixth overall, while Valentino Rossi attempted two time attacks that saw him finish fifth in FP3 and seventh on combined standings. He was followed by Danilo Petrucci on both timesheets, with Dani Pedrosa also finding some speed to get himself back into a Q2 spot. That final honour went to Tito Rabat, who was in the lead of the session at one point but dropped down to eight in FP3 and tenth overall.
Marquez and Hafizh Syahrin completed the top ten in the session but both riders will meet again later today in Q1 – one of them more familiar with the concept than the other.