As the clouds that covered the glorious Phillip Island circuit on Friday lifted towards the end of FP3, Marc Marquez found himself in the same position as day one, leading MotoGP free practice on Saturday morning.

The Spaniard skimmed 0.3s of his best time from the previous day late on in the session to put over a quarter of a second between himself and Jorge Lorenzo, who remained second fastest overall.

Four of the eventual top ten failed to better their fastest times from Friday afternoon as the majority of the riders tested the extra-soft front tyre early on in the cool conditions.

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Of the overall top ten, Scott Redding (seventh) and Andrea Dovizioso (tenth) were the notable improvers, ensuring they won't face the ignominy of appearing in Q1 this afternoon.

As riders focussed on fine tuning race set-up with Lorenzo posting a long race run, only Valentino Rossi improved in the opening 25 minutes.

The Italian appeared to have found a more suitable setting mid-way through before he fitted the aerodynamic winglets and the asymmetric front tyre, a deliberate ploy according to Movistar Yamaha team director Massimo Meregalli.

Rossi ended the session seventh, 0.7s slower than Marquez's best time. Such was the Spaniard's pace towards the end of the session he was forced to utilise the slip road at Honda Hairpin after missing his braking marker moments after setting the fastest time of 1m 29.081s.

The incident pointed towards a typical all-action pole position assault later in the afternoon from the Spaniard.

Lorenzo was third fastest in the session but remained second overall while Cal Crutchlow continued his fine form this weekend, his improvement of 0.07s good enough to see him jump from fifth to third.

Maverick Vi?ales (fourth), Andrea Iannone (fifth) and Dani Pedrosa (eighth) all failed to improve. Bradley Smith went ninth overall on his final lap of the session.

The Englishman's last-gasp effort was enough to push Aleix Espargaro back to eleventh, ensuring the second Suzuki man will join the Pramac Ducatis of Danilo Petrucci (twelfth) and Yonny Hernandez (18th) in Q1 this afternoon.

1. Marc Marquez
2. Cal Crutchlow
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Scott Redding
5. Maverick Vi?ales
6. Andrea Iannone
7. Valentino Rossi
8. Bradley Smith
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Aleix Espargaro
11. Jack Miller
12. Hector Barbera
13. Pol Espargaro
14. Danilo Petrucci
15. Nicky Hayden
16. Alvaro Bautista
17. Yonny Hernandez
18. Dani Pedrosa
19. Eugene Laverty
20. Loris Baz
21. Mike Di Meglio
22. Stefan Bradl
23. Anthony West
24. Toni Elias
25. Damian Cudlin