Marc Marquez emerged as the fastest rider on the final day of testing at Phillip Island which was dominated by a series of crashes. The two-time champion edged out Maverick Vinales to top the timesheets but the Suzuki rider’s Thursday benchmark remained the fastest of the test overall, a tenth faster than the Honda.
Although his pace was impressive, Vinales blotted his copybook with a crash during the morning session but his teammate Aleix Espargaro fared even worse, suffering two accidents. The second of those tumbles came at turn four and the tight right-hander would claim several victims over the course of the day with Tito Rabat having his second crash of the day there while Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow also came unstuck late on.
The biggest accident of all involved Danilo Petrucci who lost control of his Pramac Ducati at turn eight. The Italian was taken straight to the medical centre where he was diagnosed with multiple fractures in his right hand, putting his participation in the season opener in doubt.
Marquez wasn’t immune either but despite his own slip-up, he ended the afternoon on top from Vinales and Cal Crutchlow. Hector Barbera produced another eye-catching performance on his GP14.2 to finish fourth ahead of Valentino Rossi and the equally impressive Loris Baz who took sixth on the second Avintia machine, pipping Dani Pedrosa and Pol Espargaro.
Reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo endured his toughest day of pre-season so far, crashing out on his way to ninth although only a second covered the leading seventeen riders overall.
MotoGP Official Test – Phillip Island (Day Three Result)
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