The combined top 10 automatically going through to Q2 has been decided in Aragon, with FP3 complete. Marc Marquez remained top with the lap time he set in FP2 yesterday, a 1:47.382, whilst Cal Crutchlow improved in FP3 to make it a Honda 1-2.
Whilst it was Honda at the very top of the timesheets, Ducati still look strong, finishing 3rd, 4th and 5th fastest with Jack Miller, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso respectively. Danilo Petrucci and Alvaro Bautista will also head straight to Q2, finishing in 8th and 9th in the combined times.
Things don’t look as promising for Yamaha. Miller was outside the top 10 at the start of FP3 following mistakes he made yesterday, so his improvement pushed Valentino Rossi out of a Q2 spot. Rossi left it late in the session to try to improve but crashed at turn 2, meanwhile his team-mate Maverick Viñales managed to improve into the top 10 in the last few minutes. However, following a very late improvement by Dani Pedrosa, Viñales was also pushed down to P11. With the next best Yamaha Johann Zarco in P14, we will not see any Yamaha riders automatically going into Q2.
It wasn’t just Rossi crashing in this session – Crutchlow also lost the front at the same corner earlier on, which is a crash typically seen at the Aragon track. Turn 2 is the first time the right side of the tyre is used after many left-hand corners, so the tyre is often cold. Reale Avintia’s stand in rider Jordi Torres had a similar crash at turn 4, whilst Pol Espargaro crashed at turn 15. This is bad news for Espargaro, who has just about recovered from a serious left collarbone break in Brno. He fell onto his left side when he crashed and was taken to the medical centre, but we have received no updates since.
Espargaro’s team-mate Bradley Smith had a good session, making an appearance in the top 10 but eventually finishing P12. The best rookie in the combined times is Franco Morbidelli, who also looked like he might get automatic Q2 qualification at some points in the session. He was pushed down to P13 by the end.
2018 MotoGP Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón – Combined Practice times:
[table id=3436 /]