The decisive FP3 session for the premier class hotted up under the sun of Andalucia and under the pressure of Q2 worthy performances. Perhaps the man under most pressure, Fabio Quartararo had some ground to make up after a tricky Friday and showed signs of improvement early into FP3 but the Frenchman put his magic touch at the top of combined standings with 20 minutes left of the session, when he set a new all time lap record around the Spanish track. Jack Miller came close to challenging that but had to make do with second, half a tenth off the leader and another half tenth keeping him ahead of a splendid performance from Joan Mir, who joined the exclusive 1:36 club of the top three.
Marc Marquez was one of the few riders not to have improved his time going into the final time attack but he left it late to swap to new rubber and climbed safely into fourth. He could not quite challenge the youngsters ahead but did get some unwelcome attention from Alex Rins, who stumbled across the slower Honda on his final flying lap. Maverick Vinales was next in line in fifth spot, two tenths off his future teammate and narrowly ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Franco Morbidelli.
Valentino Rossi pulled another rabbit out of the hat and joined the Q2 lineup late in the session, together with disciple Pecco Bagnaia. Andrea Dovizioso caused the stress levels in the Ducati garage to spike as he left it until the very last lap to sneak into the top ten, pushing Pol Espargaro out of Q2 spots. The KTM man will battle an irritated Rins and the likes of Danilo Petrucci and Takaaki Nakagami in the first qualifying session.