Saturday morning offered a similar menu to Friday when it came to the premier class. Although rivals dropped their times to something more similar to Marc Marquez’s Friday recital, the world champion took it one step further in FP3 and rolled out a steady stream of high 1:23s and extremely low 1:24s on used medium tyres and with the not-so-new carbon reinforced frame. If no one had an answer to the Spaniard in terms of race pace, they at least stood a change for the fastest lap of FP3, the final time attack for Q2 spots starting in the final ten minutes. Maverick Vinales briefly dethroned Marquez but the Honda man was soon on the hunt once again and was threatening the lap record. The record was safe for now but with Marquez finishing FP3 only one tenth away, it is likely it will eventually fall in qualifying.
Vinales was forced to settle for second, with Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci setting identical times in third and fourth positions, three tenths down on Marquez. Dovizioso demonstrated good pace in the low 1:24s but it was still a touch off his Repsol branded rival. Fabio Quartararo completed the top five, with factory colleague Valentino Rossi saving his Q2 space from sixth position. Jack Miller in seventh place was the final rider within half a second of the leader.
Takaaki Nakagami, Alex Rins and Pol Espargaro were the final men to snatch direct Q2 places, dropping Cal Crutchlow, Miguel Oliveira and Franco Morbidelli in amongst the usual Q1 crowd.