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Just eleventh on Friday, Dani Pedrosa took over at the top following Free Practice 3 for the Italian MotoGP at Mugello.

The Repsol Honda star, second in the standings to unbeaten team-mate Marc Marquez, had been the most high profile victim of the Friday afternoon rain.

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Fortunately FP3 was dry, clearing the way for Pedrosa to move quickly into the combined top ten and therefore avoid a trip to this afternoon's Qualifying 1 session.

The Mugello pole record holder then went top top with a time of 1m 47.754s on the 16th of 18 laps, finishing 0.250s ahead of Friday leader Marquez. The reigning champion led for large parts of the session, but was ultimately one of five riders not to improve this morning.

Andrea Dovizioso moved up one place to third (+0.263s) to be top Italian and Ducati rider, with Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo - winner of the last three Mugello races - in fourth (0.274s).

Marquez rode in Lorenzo's slipstream for much of the closing stages.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Bradley Smith avoided Qualifying 1 by leaping from twelfth to fourth (0.388s) on his final lap, pushing Valentino Rossi to sixth (+0.401s).

The home superstar led the session on two occasions and looks to have a comfortable pace in the 1m 48s. As is traditional on Saturday morning at Mugello, Rossi unveiled a special (pasta based!) helmet design for the remainder of the weekend.

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati), Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha), Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) and the non-improving Iannone completed the list of riders gaining direct access to Qualifying 2.

Pol Espargaro suffered an early scare when he clipped the grass on the 200mph home straight, Bradl fell in the closing minutes while fellow satellite Honda rider Alvaro Bautista (Gresini) was left in twelfth place after appearing to miss out on a final run.

Forward Yamaha's Aleix Espargaro was the top Open class rider in eleventh (+0.742s), losing out on the chance to go straight to Q2 due to Smith's late surge. Team-mate Colin Edwards was 17th on the new FTR chassis.

Aspar's Nicky Hayden did not take part in the session Andrea Dovizioso has withdrawn from the remainder of the weekend due to his wrist injury.

Free Practice 3:
1. Dani Pedrosa
2. Marc Marquez
3. Andrea Dovizioso
4. Jorge Lorenzo
5. Bradley Smith
6. Valentino Rossi
7. Cal Crutchlow
8. Pol Espargaro
9. Stefan Bradl
10. Andrea Iannone
11. Aleix Espargaro
12. Alvaro Bautista
13. Michele Pirro
14. Scott Redding
15. Yonny Hernandez
16. Karel Abraham
17. Colin Edwards
18. Hiroshi Aoyama
19. Hector Barbera
20. Mike Di Meglio
21. Michael Laverty
22. Broc Parkes
23. Michel Fabrizio