Andrea Iannone heads into Saturday as the fastest rider after maintaining his advantage over the MotoGP field in FP3 at Losail. With Q2 places up for grabs, the 45 minute session was typically frantic with the top twelve riders covered by less than a second, leading to some high-profile casualties.
Iannone had topped this evening’s earlier practice session with a 1:55.388 but he was knocked off top spot within fifteen minutes of FP3 going green, Dani Pedrosa lowering the benchmark time by three hundredths of a second. The Spaniard remained unbeaten until the late flurry of laps with Andrea Dovizioso returning Ducati to the top before Jorge Lorenzo became the first rider to break into the 1:54s.
That temporarily gave the world champion a half-second advantage over his rivals but Iannone brought Ducati back on terms with Yamaha, clocking a 1:54.639 to secure top spot by 0.137s. Marc Marquez also broke into the 1:54s to snatch third from Dovizioso while Maverick Vinales demoted Pedrosa to sixth. Valentino Rossi flirted with elimination at one stage but a late burst lifted him back up to seventh, sending him safely through to Q2.
The other top ten places weren’t as clear cut with Bradley Smith climbing to tenth, only to crash heavily moments later. The Briton was subsequently knocked down to twelfth with Hector Barbera, Scott Redding and Pol Espargaro securing Q2 spots in his place.
2016 COMMERCIAL BANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR (FP3 CLASSIFICATION)
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