If the warm windy conditions brought lukewarm action for Moto3 and Moto2, the premier class had some sparks from the off but not the kind that the world champion team would have enjoyed much. Jorge Lorenzo managed to enjoy about five minutes of the session before taking a big tumble on cold rubber in turn six. The Spaniard walked away but as thoughts of Clinica Mobile crossed his mind, Repsol Honda’s afternoon got worse as teammate Marc Marquez seemed to get caught out by feisty wind in turn 14.
While the two Spaniards were licking their mostly metaphorical wounds, Alex Rins took over the lead of the session with a time two seconds off Friday’s best. Marquez could not let it rest, even with a painful bump to the infamous shoulder and took over the lead by half a second in the final handful of minutes of the session. A couple of hopefuls attempted a late time attack with an eye on Q2 and although the conditions did allow some improvements on Friday benchmarks for Miguel Oliveira, Pol Espargaro and Pecco Bagnaia, it was not enough to break the combined top ten. Bagnaia in particular was just three tenths off from the overall top ten and his attempt placed him second in the session, with KTM’s Espargaro third.
Valentino Rossi also had a go on fresh rubber but it turned out to be a waste of a soft tyre, as the Italian finished fourth in the session, four tenths off the leader and not improving on his Friday time, which left him out of the combined top ten. Takaaki Nakagami was the second best Honda in FP3 while placing fifth, with Rins dropping to sixth after a late crash. Franco Morbidelli was the last rider within half a second of Marquez, while Maverick Vinales showed some reasonable pace despite his eighth position. Johann Zarco joined the top nine for the first time on the KTM, with satellite colleague Oliveira completing top ten positions. The factory Ducatis kept a low profile throughout this not particularly useful session and finished 13th and 14th, Danilo Petrucci half a tenth faster than Andrea Dovizioso.
In the end, the top ten positions from FP2 secured a Q2 spot, the list including Marquez, Vinales, Jack Miller, Petrucci, Fabio Quartararo, Dovizioso, Morbidelli, Rins, Aleix Espergaro and Joan Mir. Lorenzo did not rejoin the action after a medical check on his back and provided that he is fit to participate in Q1, he will have to battle Cal Crutchlow, Bagnaia, Rossi & Co for a place in Q2.