Takaaki Nakagami continued to have the edge on Pol Espargaro in Moto2’s final practice session ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix. The Japanese rider found a window of dry track in amongst sporadic rain showers to pip Espargaro by eight hundredths of a second although very few riders improved their times overnight given the unsettled weather.
There had already been spots of rain in the Moto3 session which preceded this but the track was dry when the green light signalled the start of FP3. Nakagami was the straight into the 2:01s range on his first flying lap but Espargaro was even quicker out of the blocks, setting a 2:01.565 to go three tenths quicker than the Italtrans Kalex.
With fifteen minutes of the session gone, the spots of rain began to fall a little heavier but the strong gusts ensured it was a passing shower and Nakagami returned to the track to set a 2:01.480, enough to top the session as the rain returned moments later. No significant improvements were possible in the remaining ten minutes with many riders running wide due to a lack of grip, including Espargaro who visited the turn one gravel trap.
The title favourite was second fastest ahead of Scott Redding and Esteve Rabat with Simone Corsi continuing to lead the chasing pack behind Kalex’s finest in fifth. Johann Zarco took sixth in front of Julian Simon and Alex De Angelis with Nicolas Terol continuing his strong start in ninth, fractions ahead of Dominique Aegerter.
Danny Kent was another rider who suffered from the lack of grid, sliding off at turn twelve, but still finished higher than he has so far this weekend in eighteenth. Kyle Smith also had his best outing yet, going 28th fastest.