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Stefan Bradl finished an eventful Saturday morning practice at the Indianapolis MotoGP at the head of the timesheets by just 0.016s from Valentino Rossi.
LCR Honda rider Bradl, moving to Forward Yamaha for 2015, took the top spot from Rossi on his penultimate lap, having benefited from a slipstream behind Pol Espargaro.
Rossi's Movistar Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo completed a top three covered by a mere 0.084s. Quickest in FP1, Rossi thus returned to form after ninth place on Friday afternoon, while Lorenzo was held up on what could have been a faster lap.
Andrea Dovizioso was the lead Ducati in fourth (0.245s), with Espargaro fifth and Repsol Honda's reigning world champion Marc Marquez in sixth (0.340s).
Marquez, targeting ten wins in a row this weekend, again led for much of the 45-minutes - until his rivals ran new tyres and pushed for a fast lap time. Marquez's best lap remained his fourth of the session while Dovizioso, Lorenzo, Rossi and then Bradl took over P1 in quick succession.
Marquez saved an early leg-off moment at the final turn, where Pol Espargaro had a much bigger incident at the halfway stage. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider dug his left knee into the grass on corner entry, causing the Spaniard to be kicked into the air by his bucking M1. Espargaro, with both feet in the air, hung on and regained control.
Alvaro Bautista wasn't as fortunate. The Gresini Honda rider was launched into a huge highside after the rear of his RCV slid out and then bit in spectacular fashion. The incident denied Bautista the chance of breaking into the top ten and he will join fellow Factory class riders Yonny Hernandez (Pramac) and Cal Crutchlow (Ducati) in Qualifying 1.
Crutchlow - like Yonny Hernandez, Colin Edwards and Michael Laverty - did not improve this morning.
Filling the final Qualifying 2 transfer places behind Marquez were Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Yamaha), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), Andrea Iannone (Pramac Ducati) and Aleix Espargaro (Forward Yamaha).
Marquez and Lorenzo both unveiled a special helmet design for this weekend, while Edwards appeared in special camouflage leathers for day two of his final grand prix on American asphalt.
Further back, Leon Camier continues to do an excellent job on his MotoGP debut.
Riding in only his third MotoGP session, as a replacement for Nicky Hayden at Drive M7 Aspar, the Englishman closed to within 2.488s of Bradl. Camier also rose up the order from 23rd and last on Friday to 20th place this morning.
Free Practice 3:
1. Stefan Bradl
2. Valentino Rossi
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Andrea Dovizioso
5. Pol Espargaro
6. Marc Marquez
7. Andrea Iannone
8. Bradley Smith
9. Dani Pedrosa
10. Aleix Espargaro
11. Yonny Hernandez
12. Alvaro Bautista
13. Scott Redding
14. Cal Crutchlow
15. Hiroshi Aoyama
16. Karel Abraham
17. Danilo Petrucci
18. Hector Barbera
19. Mike Di Meglio
20. Leon Camier
21. Colin Edwards
22. Broc Parkes
23. Michael Laverty