Five Ducati riders are within tenths of a second at the top of the table
Jack Miller fastest in ultra-tight Ducati top five after MotoGP™ FP3 at Gran Premio Animoca Brands de Aragon. Miller set the pace with a 1:46.992, while fellow Lenovo Team Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia was just 0.030 seconds slower on his personal best lap. Marco Becchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) and Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) round out the top five, with the top two combining to knock Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro out of the top 10 by the end of the session . Espargaro will be part of a star-studded Q1 later today at Motorland Aragon, which will also include Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.
Bologna bullets on pace as Espargaro misses
Martin was fastest at the end of Friday with a 1:47.402 and came extremely close to bettering it when he registered a 1:47.403 in just the last quarter of an hour of FP3. However, it was Miller who finally changed the benchmark when he drove his Desmosedici to 1:46.992 with new Michelin soft slicks front and rear. Fabio Quartarara (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) then turned for second before Bagnaia secured his place in Q2 with a 1:47.022 after the checkered flag came out.
Bezzecchi and Bastianini left it even later than Banya, setting 1:47.048 and 1:47.057 respectively. While that effort put Martin back in fifth place – even if he was just 0.090s slower than Miller! – the more important story was Aprilia #41. Espargaro crashed in each of Friday’s sessions, and although they appeared to be minor mishaps, the Argentine Grand Prix winner was fighting for a top-10 finish. Once Beceki and Bastianini broke into the top 10, the Spaniard dropped out, ending the session in 11th place with a time of 1:47.321.
There was better news for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, who fielded both of their riders in the Q2 shootout with Binder finishing sixth in 1:47.167 and Miguel Oliveira seventh in 1:47.224. Also in the top 10 were Quartararo, Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) – just 0.280s off the pace – despite the latter’s crash at turn five.
Speaking of crashes, Marc Marquez saved one in sensational fashion when he went through turn 17 on his left elbow during the first moto. While the eight-time world champion once again delighted the fans, he hit the deck in his second run, losing at Turn 7. Fortunately, the Spaniard immediately fled the scene to ride his scooter back to the pit. Marquez couldn’t get back into the top 10, finishing 12th in 1:47.429, but don’t bet on him making it into Q2 over the long route this afternoon. Others to watch in the first quarter include Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), Johan Zarca (Prima Pramac Racing) and Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing).
Before then, drivers will be able to set up their race packages in FP4 – tune in from 13:30 (GMT +2)!
MotoGP™ Top 10:
1. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) — 1:46.992
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) +0.030
3. Marco Bacecki (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) +0.056
4. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) + 0.065
5. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) +0.090
6. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.175
7. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.232
8. Fabio Quartarara (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) + 0.266
9. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) +0.274
10. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.280