The Red Bull Ring greeted the paddock with heavy grey clouds on Saturday morning but there was the slightest hint of sun by the time the premier class hit the wet track. Several riders revelled in the damp conditions at the start of the session, with Johann Zarco fastest in the wet but a dry line was starting to form and riders ditched the wet tyres for the final 15 minutes. Alex Marquez was the first to top the session on slicks and it prompted a flurry of tyre changes that led to Andrea Dovizioso and Pol Espargaro once again hogging the limelight by trading top spot.
If they were to have an impact on combined standings, riders had about two seconds to find in the remaining 10 minutes on a widening dry line and that mission looked more realistic with every second of sunshine. Yamaha were the ones with something to prove and the first improver on the combined timesheets was Maverick Vinales, who pushed Fabio Quartararo out of the top 10 with three minutes remaining but red sector times started flashing on the timing screens for many rivals. Regardless, Vinales stayed the fastest man of the morning, while third on the combined timesheets, which were still led by Pol Espargaro, even though the Spaniard dropped to seventh in the session.
Jack Miller was another of the men who found some time in FP3 and climbed to fourth overall, while second in the session, ahead of Dovizioso, who was also comfortably through to Q2. Takaaki Nakagami had to rely on his Friday time to stay in the top five overall, while Alex Rins, Miguel Oliveira and Joan Mir all improved to secure their Q2 positions. The final direct Q2 tickets went to Franco Morbidelli, who struggled in FP3 but was saved by his performance on Friday and teammate Fabio Quartararo, who saved his day with one final lap that snatched him tenth overall. That pushed compatriot Zarco outside of the top ten positions and sent him into the Q1 battle alongside Danilo Petrucci, Valentino Rossi, Cal Crutchlow or Brad Binder.