Le Mans MotoGP: Vinales tops FP3, Marquez crashes

Maverick Vinales topped his first MotoGP race weekend session in nine months by going fastest in third practice at Le Mans, while Marc Marquez recovered from a crash to finish second.

Le Mans MotoGP: Vinales tops FP3, Marquez crashes

It wasn't until around halfway through the 45-minute Saturday morning session that the first change from Friday's provisional top 10 order was made, as Cal Crutchlow surged to head of the FP3 times.

With 13 minutes left on the clock, home hero Johann Zarco took over the top spot with a time just 0.004 seconds faster, which remained the quickest effort of the morning until the final five minutes.

At the start of his final run, Marquez suffered a low-side crash at the Dunlop chicane, damaging his new aerodynamic fairing in the process - his works Honda shedding its left-hand side winglet.

That didn't stop the reigning champion from moving to the top with three minutes remaining with a lap of 1m32.011s, moments after Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo had beaten Zarco's time.

With just one minute left on the clock, Zarco became the first rider to beat Andrea Dovizioso's record-breaking Friday benchmark with a 1m31.866s, but that was quickly surpassed by the works Yamaha of Valentino Rossi, who moved ahead on a 1m31.810s.

As the chequered flag fell, Marquez set a new benchmark of 1m31.774s, but that wasn't enough to top the session as Vinales - who fell 0.001s short of teammate Rossi's time on his penultimate lap - found a further two tenths to end up on a 1m31.619s and establish a new record.

It marks the first time Vinales has led a session during a race weekend since he qualified on pole at Aragon last September.

Marquez was demoted to second ahead of Rossi, with Zarco moving down to fourth, 0.247s adrift, after being unable to improve on his final lap.

Dovizioso stayed fifth in the combined times by dint of his Friday lap, ahead of factory Ducati teammate Lorenzo, Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) and Tito Rabat (Avintia Ducati).

Grabbing the final automatic Q2 spot was lead Suzuki man Andrea Iannone, who shaded Crutchlow by 0.083s for 10th in the combined times.

Joining Crutchlow in Q1 will be the second Pramac bike of Danilo Petrucci, Suzuki's Alex Rins and Honda's Dani Pedrosa, who was one of four riders to not improve on Saturday morning.

Pol Espargaro was another one of the quartet after crashing early in the session, but still ended up as KTM's best finisher in 14th overall, two places ahead of Pedrosa - who also crashed at Turn 12.

Third practice results:

Pos.#RiderBikeTimeGap
1 25 spain Maverick Viñales  Yamaha 1'31.619  
2 93 spain Marc Marquez  Honda 1'31.774 0.155
3 46 italy Valentino Rossi  Yamaha 1'31.810 0.191
4 5 france Johann Zarco  Yamaha 1'31.866 0.247
5 99 spain Jorge Lorenzo  Ducati 1'31.981 0.362
6 43 australia Jack Miller  Ducati 1'32.064 0.445
7 41 spain Aleix Espargaro  Aprilia 1'32.135 0.516
8 53 spain Tito Rabat  Ducati 1'32.160 0.541
9 29 italy Andrea Iannone  Suzuki 1'32.179 0.560
10 35 united_kingdom Cal Crutchlow  Honda 1'32.262 0.643
11 9 italy Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 1'32.289 0.670
12 42 spain Alex Rins  Suzuki 1'32.295 0.676
13 19 spain Alvaro Bautista  Ducati 1'32.450 0.831
14 26 spain Dani Pedrosa  Honda 1'32.525 0.906
15 4 italy Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati 1'32.568 0.949
16 38 united_kingdom Bradley Smith  KTM 1'32.953 1.334
17 21 italy Franco Morbidelli  Honda 1'32.992 1.373
18 55 malaysia Hafizh Syahrin  Yamaha 1'33.049 1.430
19 44 spain Pol Espargaro  KTM 1'33.075 1.456
20 30 japan Takaaki Nakagami  Honda 1'33.096 1.477
21 45 united_kingdom Scott Redding  Aprilia 1'33.107 1.488
22 17 czech_republic Karel Abraham  Ducati 1'33.336 1.717
23 12 switzerland Thomas Luthi  Honda 1'33.603 1.984
24 10 belgium Xavier Simeon  Ducati 1'34.002 2.383
shares
comments
Miller aims to prove he can be ‘all-rounder’ to Ducati

Previous article

Miller aims to prove he can be ‘all-rounder’ to Ducati

Next article

Lowes has "no desire" for 2019 MotoGP return

Lowes has "no desire" for 2019 MotoGP return
Load comments
Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant Prime

Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant

Danilo Petrucci’s days in MotoGP appear numbered, as KTM looks to completely reshuffle the Tech3 team for 2022. Though the Italian's 2021 season so far hasn’t been standout, the giant Italian covertly became a top runner in MotoGP across the last decade and brought with him a personality that world sport sorely needs more of

MotoGP
Jul 22, 2021
Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can't be written off yet Prime

Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can't be written off yet

Joan Mir’s defence of his MotoGP title has had an underwhelming start as Suzuki didn’t progress its championship-winning GSX-RR as much as its rivals did with their bikes over the winter. Speaking to Motorsport.com, Mir lays out why his title defence has been stalled so far and why he’s confident title number two is still within reach

MotoGP
Jul 12, 2021
How Quartararo became the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed Prime

How Quartararo became the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed

It's been six years since Jorge Lorenzo gave Yamaha its last MotoGP title in 2015. Since his departure at the end of 2016, Yamaha's form has been inconsistent but it has at last found a new talisman to return it to the top spot in the form of a precociously talented Frenchman who currently leads the standings.

MotoGP
Jul 6, 2021
Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties Prime

Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties

On Monday, Yamaha announced it will part ways with Maverick Vinales at the end of the 2021 season - a move requested by the rider. As the already strained relationship between both parties in MotoGP hit rock bottom in recent weeks, this divorce - as Oriol Puigdemont writes - is good for both Yamaha and Vinales for a number of reasons

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2021
The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption Prime

The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption

A decade after first linking up with Ducati in what turned out to be an ill-fated period in his MotoGP career, Valentino Rossi has joined forces with the Italian marque once more - this time as a team owner. And the VR46/Ducati tie-up beginning in 2022 has the potential to right the wrongs of Rossi and Ducati's nadir of 2011/2012.

MotoGP
Jun 24, 2021
Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi Prime

Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi

With Valentino Rossi’s next career move imminent in MotoGP, it is set to have wide-reaching influences on a number of riders and teams on the grid. But one of the biggest impacts will be felt at Yamaha, with its pivotal role in the saga set to see it lose its appointment with ‘The Doctor’

MotoGP
Jun 22, 2021
How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win Prime

How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win

Marc Marquez has been through hell and back in the 581 days between his win in the 2019 Valencia season finale and his heroic MotoGP comeback victory in Germany last Sunday. Despite battling physical limitations and a difficult 2021-spec Honda, the Sachsenring provided the perfect storm for the Spaniard to return to the top step

MotoGP
Jun 21, 2021
Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward.

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021