MotoGP

Bagnaia edges Quartararo to lead FP3

The perfect conditions on Saturday morning at Jerez allowed lap time improvements on the combined order to come in almost immediately in the third and final 45-minute practice of the weekend.  

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro was the first significant rider to make an improvement on the combined times with a 1m37.732s which put him top in FP3 and ninth overall. 

He improved further to fifth with a 1m37.386s on his next tour, while Suzuki’s Joan Mir would leap up to fourth from 12th on a used soft rear midway through the session with a 1m37.341s.  

When he returned to the circuit with a fresh soft rear slick with just over 15 minutes remaining, Mir shot up to second with a 1m37.122s.  

But it would be Ducati’s Bagnaia – who topped last November’s test at Jerez outright on the GP22 prototype – that would finally depose Quartararo’s lap from Friday with a 1m36.782s.  

Bagnaia’s lap would come under some threat over the closing stages, but remained intact through to the chequered flag.  

Reigning world champion Quartararo would emerge as his closest challenger, the Yamaha rider getting to within 0.067 seconds on his final lap.  

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Takaaki Nakagami led the Honda charge on Saturday morning with the third-best time of the weekend on his LCR-run RC213V.  

His factory Honda counterpart Marc Marquez, who struggled to 19th on Friday having made a major change to his bike he didn’t like, produced a 1m36.925s following Ducati’s Jack Miller late on to leap up to fourth and bag a direct place in Q2.  

There was a moment at the end of the session when Marquez almost ran into the back of Miller, but both emerged without contact – the latter taking the last direct Q2 spot in 10th.  

Maverick Vinales said on Friday he was losing seven tenths of a second when he fitted a fresh soft tyre for a qualifying simulation.  

But the nine-time MotoGP race winner was the strongest Aprilia rider on Saturday morning, the Spaniard – sporting a special Top Gun tribute helmet this weekend – rounding out the top five ahead of Gresini Ducati’s Enea Bastianini.  

The sister Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro was seventh ahead of Suzuki’s Mir and the Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin, as Valentino Rossi protégé Marco Bezzecchi was denied a place in Q2 late on by just 0.077s on his VR46 Ducati.  

Two riders who starred last weekend in the Portuguese GP will face Q1 later this afternoon, with Pramac’s Johann Zarco – who was second in last week’s race – only 12th at the end of FP3 at Jerez.  

And joining him in the session will be Suzuki’s Alex Rins, whose final lap of 1m37.293s was only good enough for 13th.  

Both factory KTM riders and Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli will also face this afternoon’s Q1 session in qualifying.  

MotoGP qualifying for the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix takes place at 2:10pm local time (1:10pm BST). 

MotoGP Spanish GP – FP3 results


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