Blue skies were back over Assen after the rainy adventure on Friday afternoon and the premier class found their rhythm in the dry before attacking the top 10 once more. Improvements came quick and the hierarchy frequently changed throughout the session but, as usual, it all came down to the final handful of minutes. Friday leader Maverick Viñales might not have been particularly chatty off track but did his talking on it, leading the way once more for most of FP3. He was only briefly demoted by teammate Fabio Quartararo, the Yamaha duo one step ahead of their rivals. Pol Espargaro was the only other rider whose top 10 position did not really seem at threat, the Spaniard still enjoying his time in the Netherlands.
Aleix Espargaro dropped in and out of the top 10 but a fantastic final lap placed him right behind his brother on the timesheets. Joan Mir completed the top five, followed by teammate Alex Rins, who was half a second off the lead. Takaaki Nakagami made some forays into the top 10 but a couple of cancelled lap times due to track limits infringements meant he had to wait until the final couple of minutes to rejoin in seventh place. Miguel Oliveira was the sole KTM in eighth, while Valentino Rossi makes another rare appearance directly in Q2 from ninth place.
The Ducatis looked vulnerable in the final couple of minutes of the session and while Jack Miller held onto the top 10 by the skin of his teeth, colleagues Pecco Bagnaia, Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin got pushed out by mere hundredths of a second. Zarco’s case was not helped by an early tumble at turn three and the Ducatis will join the likes of Marc Marquez in Q1. The creaky Repsol Honda man opted to rest a bit longer and only started his time attack in the final six minutes but after chasing a fast Oliveira and doing a bit of off-tracking, he ended the morning 15th, seven tenths off the lead.