The reigning World Champion leads a pair of Ducatis as World Championship leader Espargaro is among the riders facing Q1 later
Reigning World Champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) set the pace in MotoGP™ FP3 at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas as the top three head into qualifying split by just 0.086s. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) and Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) are P2 and P3 ahead of FP4 and qualifying later on, as World Championship leader Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) faces Q1.
Plenty of improvements, big names miss the top 10 cut
The first rider to make a dent in the top 10 was Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), as the Japanese rider climbed into P10 – knocking Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) out with 19 minutes to go. World Championship leader Aleix Espargaro was then inside the top 10 after missing out on Friday, the Spaniard was P7 before Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) improved to P4.
There was drama for Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) at Turn 16 with 14 minutes to go as the Spaniard crashed on an out-lap, and with Martin P13, the pressure was on for the Argentina podium finisher. With 10 minutes left on the clock, Bastianini set a new benchmark – a 2:02.420, 0.122s faster than Johann Zarco’s (Pramac Racing) Friday pace.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) pounced up to P2 with under a minute left and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) also improved, the Italian was now inside the all-important top 10. Quartararo on his last lap became the table topper, Miller set his personal best time to go P3 as we witnessed drama further down the pecking order – Aleix Espargaro, Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing), Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) and Martin missed out, as did the two Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTMs.
Marc Marquez is safely into Q2 on his injury return, the eight-time World Champion is P4 after FP3, with Zarco P5 despite failing to improve – and crashing – on Saturday morning. Bagnaia, Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team), Mir, Nakagami and Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) sail into Q2 later on today.
As always, a star-studded Q1 session is coming up at 14:10 local time (GMT-5), including two of our three 2022 race winners – Aleix Espargaro and Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).
Top 10 combined:
1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) – 2:02.361
2. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) +0.059
3. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo team) +0.086
4. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) +0.129
5.Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +0.181
6. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) +0.260
7. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) +0.437
8. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.513
9. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) +0.547
10. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) +0.560
VideoPass allows you to watch every single second of every single sector LIVE and On Demand