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MotoGP Le Mans: Lorenzo leaves it late to top FP3

A late sizzler from Jorge Lorenzo on a soft front-rear tyre combination sees him top FP3 nearly four tenths of a second ahead of Andrea Iannone
Jorge Lorenzo stamped his authority on the second day of practice for the French MotoGP at Le Mans by topping FP3 with a late time in a session that was notable for a terrifying high-side for Aleix Espargaro.

Inside the top three in each session thus far, Lorenzo's late time – set on the soft option front and rear tyre, his harder option for the weekend – was close to 0.4s faster than the impressive Andrea Iannone, who led with moments to spare.

The Majorcan was also the first rider to dip into the 1m 32s this weekend and, incredibly, was just 0.6s off Marc Marquez's outright track record, set on his run to pole position in 2014.

The late lap topped an ominous session for Lorenzo in which he set a typically consistent run on the extra-soft option before pitting for a change of tyres.

Espargaro on the other hand was taken to the medical centre to have x-rays on his right hand after high-siding from his Suzuki on the exit of turn four. The Catalan was thrown from his bike and ended his trajectory at the bottom of turn six but it was later confirmed there was no fracture.

The incident came just after he had fitted an extra soft rear tyre and Espargaro was, unsurprisingly, unable to go back on track. He ended the session twelfth.

While the Suzuki man caught the eye for all the wrong reasons, Iannone underlined his continued development as a MotoGP front-runner with the second fastest time, a day after admitting the extent of which he struggled on Friday.

The Italian needed a painkilling injection to get him through FP2 but was inside the top ten throughout the 45 minutes before setting his fastest time with five minutes left on the clock. The Italian also posted 19 laps as he looked to test the endurance of the left shoulder.

Cal Crutchlow finished the session third, thanks to a late lap in the low 1m 33s, which pushed Andrea Dovizioso back to fourth. The second Ducati rider could only dip into the 33s once all session after setting a commanding pace on Friday.

Bradley Smith was unable to improve on his Friday time, while Marc Marquez ended the morning session in sixth. The Repsol Honda man, using a new swingarm this weekend, recovered from two off-track excursions at Garage Vert to place one position ahead of team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

Yonny Hernandez was eighth, Pol Espargaro ninth and Valentino Rossi couldn't improve on his Friday time in tenth.

It means that along with Aleix Espargaro, Maverick Viñales (eleventh), Danilo Petrucci (twelfth) and Scott Redding (13th) will be the notable participants in Saturday afternoon's Q1 session.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lorenzo, French MotoGP 2015
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Reddng, Petrucci, Smith Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Petrucci Australian MotoGP 2016
Barbera, Smith Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Australian MotoGP 2016
Pol Espargaro, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl, Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Redding Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Redding Australian MotoGP 2016

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