It’s incredible close at the TT Circuit Assen as action opens on Saturday and half a tenth covers the top five.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) topped FP3 at the Motul TT Assen, but times were incredibly tight in the top ten as riders tousled for position and automatic entry to Q2. Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was only 0.001 off Marquez at the top, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) only a further five thousandths in arrears on the combined timesheets.
It didn’t even stop there, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) only a few hundredths back in P4 and Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) completing the top five and just over half a tenth off Marquez.
Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) were next, with Aleix Espargaro impressing to put Aprilia Racing Team Gresini into P8. Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) continued his recent run of improved form in ninth, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) just hanging on to the final spot in the top ten and avoiding Q1.
Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was the man facing heartbreak as he once again found himself just on the cusp but pushed into P11, but the Spaniard was ahead of Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing), Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) in a huge gaggle of riders who will be fighting hard to move out of Q1 from 14:10 (GMT +2).
Franco Morbidelli was one crasher in the session, and the Italian got to his feet before heading to the Medical Centre. There, he was sadly declared unfit due to a small fracture in his left hand.