*The following press release and photo come directly from the MotoGP.com website here.
Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone was the man who led the way in Saturday morning’s vital Free Practice 3 – which decides who makes it automatically into Q2 – in glorious conditions (Track temp 24˚C) at the Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo circuit.
Iannone set a 1’30.925 to beat his compatriot Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) to top spot by just 0.063s. Rossi dismissed the notion he would only be working on race pace by putting in fresh rubber at the end to set a flying lap and send out a statement of intent as he finished second on the overall timesheets. The two Italians are the only two riders to have broken the 1’31 barrier all weekend.
Repsol Honda’s Marquez (+0.109) completed the front row as he managed to improve his time by over four-tenths from Friday.
Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo (+0.186s) had to settle for fourth, as he was the only rider who failed to improve his time from Friday. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith (+0.209s) improved dramatically overnight, finishing FP3 in fifth after ending Friday down in 15th.
Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa (+0.238s) was sixth fastest ahead of the leading satellite rider Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in seventh, as incredibly just 0.239s separated the top 7 riders.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), and Danilo Petrucci completed the top ten riders that go through automatically into Q2.
Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) missed out on Q2 by just 0.083s in eleventh and will have to fight it out in Q1 with Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera (12th) – who was the leading Open class rider – and his Suzuki teammate Maverick Viñales (13th).
Australian Jack Miller (LCR Honda) was the leading Open Honda rider in 18th, ahead of Scott Redding on the Factory spec EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda in 19th. The Aspar MotoGP Team duo of Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty ended the session in 22nd and 23rd respectively.
Anthony West (AB Motoracing) filling in for the injured Karel Abraham was in 25th, while Alex De Angelis’ replacement Broc Parkes (E-Motion IodaRacing Team) finished the session in 26th.