Andrea Dovizioso stayed on top of the overall standings after final practice at Silverstone while Danilo Petrucci produced an outstanding lap to secure a Q2 place. With overnight rain leaving plenty of damp patches, only ten riders improved on their Friday times but crucially, Petrucci was among them as he snatched a Q2 spot at the expense of Alvaro Bautista.
Many were fearing a quiet session due to the less favourable conditions but Maverick Vinales did continue his promising performance, setting the initial pace in the session with a 2:02.623, still a second shy of Dovizioso’s overall benchmark. With seven minutes remaining, the combined classification was still unchanged but Petrucci made the first big leap, snatching tenth with a time of 2:02.257.
This forced everybody into action, recognising that Q2 spots were suddenly up for grabs but Bautista threw away his chance with a crash at turn 12. Takaaki Nakagami was another rider threatening to gate-crash the top ten, despite a tumble midway through proceedings, but a second fall at the Loop for the LCR rider dashed any hopes for the Japanese rookie.
In a frantic late dash, Petrucci improved still further to take seventh overall, putting Andrea Iannone on the bubble, and the Suzuki rider narrowly avoided elimination when Franco Morbidelli improved to eleventh, missing out by a tenth of a second.
Ultimately, Dovizioso held onto top spot from home favourite Cal Crutchlow who topped FP3 while the rest of the top six mirrored Friday’s order with Vinales next up, just ahead of Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Jack Miller. Petrucci finished seventh ahead of Johann Zarco and Valentino Rossi, two riders who improved their overall times but couldn’t climb up the order, while Iannone rounds out the top ten.
As a result, Morbidelli and Bautista will head the field in Q1 this afternoon, joined by the likes of Dani Pedrosa, Tito Rabat and the two other British hopes, Bradley Smith and Scott Redding.
2018 GoPro British Grand Prix (Combined Classification)
[table id=3350 /]