Johann Zarco set the fastest time in final practice ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone but less favourable track conditions saw no changes to the Q2 positions. The reigning Moto2 champion was one of only three riders to improve his overall lap time following overnight rain as the top ten riders from Friday, Zarco included, eased safely through to Qualifying 2 this afternoon.
The writing appeared to be on the wall for those outside the top ten once FP3 got underway with Jack Miller and Valentino Rossi, the only men to brave the conditions early on, lapping a full nine seconds shy of the ultimate pace. The times did steadily tumble but it wasn’t until the half-hour mark that anybody bettered their FP2 time, Bradley Smith improving on the KTM but staying bottom of the pile.
With Q2 spots up for grabs, several riders attempted a time-attack on a soft rear tyre and Zarco found enough grip in the cooler, overcast conditions to go a tenth faster than he had yesterday, enabling him to top the session and grab sixth overall. His team-mate Jonas Folger also shone to go third fastest but his lack of pace yesterday came back to bite him as he ended combined practice in thirteenth.
The end-result of it all is that Cal Crutchlow leads the field into qualifying courtesy of his 2:00.897 yesterday with the Yamahas of Rossi and Maverick Vinales, who was second this morning, also safely through. Aleix Espargaro didn’t run at all in FP3 but held onto fourth ahead of Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo with Zarco leapfrogging Pol Espargaro for seventh. The last automatic Q2 spots were taken by Andrea Dovizioso and Scott Redding.