Hot, windy, dusty – add the adjective of your choice to denote how unhelpful the conditions were to prepare for a race taking place much later in the day. With over 40 degrees track temperature it was always unlikely to get a shot at improving position on the combined standings with Q1 in sight so not much constructive work seemed to be done throughout the session.
Johann Zarco still did his best to steal the headline - one second down on the weekend’s best time but still good enough to top the session. A final charge in the last few minutes got some riders within a tenth or so of their best times but not enough to make any change to the overall classification. One of those riders was Jack Miller, who made the most of a first class Marquez tow to drag himself to second on the timesheets in FP3, while remaining 14th overall.
Danilo Petrucci was two tenths slower than the Australian in the afternoon and finished the session third, while still second in the combined standings. Marc Marquez was another tenth down while on his favoured hard front tyre and showing solid pace in the given conditions. Andrea Iannone snuck in between the world champion and his teammate in the late part of the session, ending up fifth, with Dani Pedrosa sixth.
Andrea Dovizioso remained the fastest rider of the weekend, despite only being seventh in FP3, three hundredths of a second ahead of teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Behind the factory Ducatis, Valentino Rossi had to work hard for his ninth position, starting the session with a front end slide in turn five and ending it with a flapping belly pan stopping his late charge. Nonetheless, the Italian had already ensured his top ten position on the combined standings, something that could not be said about the other side of the Yamaha garage. Maverick Viñales might have hoped for the planets to align and give him another unlikely shot at the top ten after finishing eleventh on Friday, but the Spaniard struggled once again, ending the session twentieth, one second slower than Rossi.
As expected, there were no changes to the combined standings from Friday, with Dovizioso leading the way ahead of Petrucci and joined by Rins, Lorenzo, Iannone, Marquez, Pedrosa, Crutchlow, Rossi and Zarco in the lineup for Q2.