Championship leader fastest as the sun starts to dry the Brno circuit, automatic Q2 places decided by FP2 times
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was the man to beat in a damp MotoGP FP3 session at the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky, his 2:04.279 was enough to beat second fastest Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) by 0.588 as Team Suzuki Ecstar’s test rider Sylvain Guintoli ends the session in third place.
Overnight and morning rain meant the Automotodrom Brno was wet for the premier class riders and this meant one thing; the top 10 from FP2 have booked themselves an automatic Q2 place. However, all the riders went out for a spin in the wet conditions as the threat of rain later on could mean a damp qualifying, and immediately it was Marquez who set the pace. At one stage, the number 93 was over two seconds clear of the field but on a quickly drying circuit, the riders were able to improve their times and close the gap to the Championship leader.
A dry line soon formed as many of the riders failed to go quicker in the latter stages of the session, with Viñales and Guintoli the only riders to get within a second of the leading Repsol Honda. Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci was fourth fastest in mixed conditions, himself, Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and fastest man so far this weekend Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) were the only other men to get within two seconds of Marquez.
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So, with no one improving, Quartararo remains top of the combined standings with Marquez close for company in second. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) set the exact same time to claim P3 and P4 respectively, Viñales sits fifth overall heading into qualifying. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) heads Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in sixth and seventh, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), Rossi and Petrucci completing the automatic Q2 places.
Under eight tenths covers the top 10 heading into qualifying this afternoon, but will it be wet or dry?
Top 10 in FP3:
1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) 2’04.279
2. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) +0.588
3. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.894
4. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) +1.131
5. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) +1.452
6. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) +1.940
7. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki ECSTAR) +2.049
8. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory MotoGP) +2.056
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) +2.066
10. Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) +2.102