The premier class put on a show for the crucial FP3 session and it started early in the morning, when the cooler conditions led to some early mistakes from the likes of Jack Miller and Miguel Oliveira, who sat in gravel traps in quick succession. Once the yellow flags stopped waving, Pecco Bagnaia was quick to improve and join the top ten, eventually snatching the lap record on his home playground. The Italian did end the session with a tumble of his own at turn six, adding to the yellow flag party prompted by late crashes from Pol Espargaro and Oliveira once again. That halted a few late time attacks but the Yamahas were quick to reduce Bagnaia’s half second gap at the front. Maverick Vinales proved once again that one lap speed is not the issue and climbed into second ahead of the Petronas duo of Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli.
Joan Mir in fifth place was the only other rider within half a second of the leader and separated Valentino Rossi from the rest of the Yamaha contingent. The Doctor’s late speed and luck in escaping the yellow flags did secure him a Q2 spot from eighth overall. Brad Binder and Takaaki Nakagami had no worries, as their top times from Friday kept them securely inside the top ten, while Pol Espargaro also failed to improve due to his late crash at turn 6 but held onto ninth on the combined standings. Danilo Petrucci seems to have turned things around after a painful first outing in Misano and managed to secure the final ticket directly to Q2.
The victims of the final shootout were the likes of Miller, Aleix Espargaro, Johann Zarco, Andrea Dovizioso, Oliveira and Alex Rins – a handful of strong riders to be battling for only two spots on offer in Q1.