A bright and sunny day invited the premier class out to play and after some race-pace-calm-before-the-storm work, it was time to attack the all time lap record once again. Fabio Quartararo took the initiative to improve on his own benchmark from yesterday and promptly dropped it into the 1:58s, opening the final time attack with a bang. Things quickly calmed down and it looked like the Frenchman was a step too far ahead but then Valentino Rossi poured some gas on the fire in the final three minutes. The Italian briefly robbed his significantly younger colleague of the lap record but Quartararo did not let his legendary colleague rejoice for too long, snatching back top spot by a tenth and a half and over six tenths faster than on Friday.
Rossi happily settled for second after being outside of the top ten only four minutes before the checkered flag waved, while Marc Marquez kept busy with solid runs on the hard rear, the medium and ignored the soft until one final flying lap that bumped him up to third. Jack Miller was safely inside the top four, despite a mid-session off track stroll at Stowe, where his Ducati did not appreciate the treatment and refused to carry on.
Danilo Petrucci saved his morning late, when he joined the top five, pushing early leader Cal Crutchlow into sixth. Maverick Viñales also went for a quick hike through the turn 16 gravel trap halfway through proceedings but recovered quickly to finish seventh. Franco Morbidelli and Takaaki Nakagami joined the Q2 lineup, nine tenths down on the leader and narrowly ahead of Aleix Espargaro, who secured the final top ten spot.
Besides the record man up front, the other big stories of FP3 were Alex Rins and Andrea Dovizioso stranded in Q1 from 11th and 14th positions, the Italian over a second slower than Quartararo and behind the KTMs of Miguel Oliveira and Pol Espargaro.