The premier class returned to a much sunnier Montmeló on Saturday morning and the improved conditions saw the lap record improved further and gaps reduced throughout the field. Johann Zarco’s Friday benchmark stood until the final 15 minutes of FP3, when Fabio Quartararo anticipated the shootout and posted the first 1:38 time of the weekend, leaving rivals with a half second gap to recover. The timing screens only really turned red in the final couple of minutes and Franco Morbidelli promptly reminded his former teammate of his speed despite the antique material underneath him. The Italian went quicker by half a tenth and showed similar pace and consistency to Quartararo throughout the session.
Miguel Oliveira was the early leader of the session and kept close to the top positions to finish third, while Pecco Bagnaia left it really late to find his way back in the limelight, making the jump to fourth on his final flying lap. Aleix Espargaro in fifth was only a tenth off top spot and closely followed by Brad Binder. Although he finished down in 15th position in the session, Zarco’s FP2 time stood the test of time and kept him seventh on the combined timesheets, ahead of Maverick Viñales, who was only three tenths slower than his leading colleagues and showed similar pace on used rubber.
The final Q2 tickets went to two riders who will welcome the break from Q1, Joan Mir and Valentino Rossi, the Italian’s late charge demoting Jack Miller out of the combined top 10. The Ducati man will join the likes of Takaaki Nakagami, Danilo Petrucci and Repsol Honda duo Pol Espargaro and Marc Marquez in Q1.