13 June 2015
MotoGP Catalunya: Viñales tops Suzuki one-two, Pedrosa into Q1
Two stunning late laps from Maverick Viñales ensure he tops a MotoGP session for the first time as Pedrosa and Iannone finish outside the top ten
Maverick Viñales led team-mate Aleix Espargaro in a stunning MotoGP FP3 session for Suzuki as the factory's fine form continued under the Catalan sun.
Using a new engine which boasts a smoother power delivery, both Suzukis have placed inside the top five in each of the weekend's three sessions. Jorge Lorenzo led much of the 45-minutes but the softer rear tyre proved crucial once again.
At the other end of the top ten, there was disappointment for Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Iannone, who both got cast aside in the final dash for times, the pair ending the three free practices in eleventh and twelfth, ensuring a tricky passage into Q1.
Pedrosa used the session to test HRC's new exhaust, used by Marc Marquez on Friday, but was unable to crack the top ten in a tight session which saw the top eleven separated by 0.59s.
While Viñales used the softer option rear tyre to set his final two times, he had previously gone third overall with the medium compound rear tyre, underlining his speed ahead of Sunday's 25-lap race.
The final three minutes took the attention away from the ominous race run set by Lorenzo early on in the session. After spending Friday afternoon setting times on used tyres, Lorenzo set a staggering run in the mid 1m 41s on medium rubber, completely in tune with his recent run of results.
Lorenzo's fastest time of 1m 41.158s was identical to the elder Espargaro's best time from Friday. The Majorcan was pushed back to third on the overall time sheets as the Suzuki man's second best time was better than his.
With the front three separated by 0.05s, Andrea Dovizioso was two tenths slower in fourth. Marc Marquez ensured he avoided a repeat of his nightmare qualifying in Mugello by placing fifth, thanks to his time from FP2.
Home hero Pol Espargaro, testing a slash cut exhaust on his Yamaha M1, was the first of the Monster Tech 3 riders, a place ahead of Valentino Rossi. The Italian spent the majority of the session precariously on the edge of the top ten.
Indeed Rossi persisted in using the harder option rear tyre before pitting with just six minutes as he sat outside the first ten places. Although his final time was good enough for seventh overall, Rossi couldn't lap in the 1m 41s until his final two-lap run.
Frustrated by a lack of consistency on Friday, Cal Crutchlow made the cut with the eighth fastest time while Yonny Hernandez used a Lorenzo-tow to place ninth.
Less than two tenths of a second slower than team-mate Espargaro, Bradley Smith completed the top ten.
Free Practice 3:
1. Maverick Viñales
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Aleix Espargaro
4. Andrea Dovizioso
5. Pol Espargaro
6. Valentino Rossi
7. Marc Marquez
8. Cal Crutchlow
9. Yonny Hernandez
10. Bradley Smith
11. Dani Pedrosa
12. Andrea Iannone
13. Scott Redding
14. Hector Barbera
15. Danilo Petrucci
16. Stefan Bradl
17. Alvaro Bautista
18. Mike Di Meglio
19. Nicky Hayden
20. Jack Miller
21. Loris Baz
22. Karel Abraham
23. Eugene Laverty
24. Alex De Angelis
25. Marco Melandri
Jorge Lorenzo - FP3 long run:
Marc Marquez - FP3 long run*:
Marquez only rider other than Lorenzo to complete at least eight consecutive fast laps in FP3.
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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