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MotoGP Argentina: Marquez moves to the top in FP3

Marc Marquez fastest during Free Practice 3 for the Argentina MotoGP.
Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez moved to the top of the timesheets during Free Practice 3 in Argentina on Saturday morning.

Cleaner track conditions meant most of the 45-minutes were dedicated to race preparation, including the new extra hard rear tyre available to the Factory Hondas and Yamahas, with Nicky Hayden providing the only top 10 change prior to the closing stages.

Number of sub 1m 40s laps in FP3: Marquez 9, Lorenzo 8, Dovizioso 7, Iannone 6, Rossi 4, Pol Espargaro 4, Smith 4, Crutchlow 3...

Marquez, third on Friday, then jumped to the front courtesy of a 1m 38.602s on his 15th of 19 laps. That proved enough to keep Cal Crutchlow at bay by just 0.056s as the LCR Honda rider reaffirmed his raw pace on the RC213V.

After sweeping both Friday sessions, Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro was one of only two riders not to improve, but still remained third fastest overall and may have taken a tactical decision to save a set of softer rubber for qualifying.

Ducati Team riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso were fourth and fifth on combined times and, like Suzuki, are also without the new extra-hard rubber due to the Open class concessions. Dovizioso was just 0.216s slower than Marquez!

Jorge Lorenzo was the lead Yamaha in seventh overall (+0.350s) with team-mate and world championship leader Valentino Rossi one place behind. Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci and Espargaro's rookie GSX-RR team-mate Maverick Vinales both did a commendable job for eighth and ninth.

Marc VDS Honda rider Scott Redding snatched the final top ten place on his penultimate lap, nudging Pol Espargaro into eleventh and therefore forcing the Spaniard to join Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Bradley Smith in Qualifying 1 (13th).

Rookie Eugene Laverty was as high as fourth in the closing minutes on his way to twelfth place and the top Open class rider. The Irishman pushed his Honda to a lap time just 0.760s behind Marquez on a morning when the top 19 riders were covered by 1.4s.

A shorter final free practice session will take place just before qualifying, when riders will continue work on race set-up and persevering tyre life.

1. Marc Marquez
2. Cal Crutchlow
3. Andrea Iannone
4. Andrea Dovizioso
5. Aleix Espargaro
6. Jorge Lorenzo
7. Valentino Rossi
8. Danilo Petrucci
9. Maverick Viñales
10. Scott Redding
11. Pol Espargaro
12. Eugene Laverty
13. Bradley Smith
14. Yonny Hernandez
15. Nicky Hayden
16. Hector Barbera
17. Stefan Bradl
18. Alvaro Bautista
19. Jack Miller
20. Karel Abraham
21. Hiroshi Aoyama
22. Mike Di Meglio
23. Marco Melandri
24. Loris Baz
25. Alex De Angelis

Tagged as: Honda , Marquez

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Marquez, Argentina MotoGP 2015
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Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
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Marquez, Lorenzo Australian MotoGP 2016
Marquez, Lorenzo Dovizioso Australian MotoGP 2016
Vinales, Marquez Australian MotoGP 2016
Brad Binder, Kork Ballington, Australian MotoGP 2016

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April 18, 2015 5:02 PM

Marquez is still travelling more easily than anyone else... behind his seeming ability to pull fast laps out of his back pocket, Rossi and Lorenzo still look good. Cal is quick, but less than metronomic, and the others have softer tyres to play with. Race distance has to be the question for them. Most interesting facts: less than 9 tenths covers the top 13, and only 1.4 seconds covering the top 19... It seems a while ago that we we watching CRTs dawdle around making MotoGP look ridiculous...this is a signifianct improvement.

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