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MotoGP Americas: Marquez stays top as Iannone closes

Marc Marquez continues to top the free practice standings at the Circuit of the Americas but his advantage is much reduced as Andrea Iannone closes.
Marc Marquez maintained his dominance of MotoGP affairs in FP3 at the Circuit of the Americas, but his day one advantage was much reduced on Saturday morning, as Andrea Iannone lapped the 3.4-mile track 0.196s slower than the Repsol Honda man.

Untouchable on Friday, Marquez's air of invincibility was breached by a determined Iannone, whose late lap was a full 0.8s faster than his best Friday time. Yet ominously for the rest of the field, the young Spaniard remained on the same rear tyre throughout, while others fitted fresh, softer rubber toward the end.

Reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo was 0.59s back of Marquez's fastest time in third, the Majorcan replicating Marquez's strategy and staying on the same rubber throughout. Maverick Viñales was again at the sharp end in fourth, ahead of Cal Crutchlow, a late improver, in fifth.

Confident of his ability in most sectors, Valentino Rossi was sixth, while Dani Pedrosa finally ended a session within a second of his team-mate a place behind.

Perhaps the star of the session, Loris Baz (eighth) was again well inside the top ten. The Frenchman believed he could have ended Friday afternoon's session as the top Ducati, had it not been for the top speed deficit that he suffered along the Texan track's considerable straights.

Andrea Dovizioso was a faller at turn eleven mid-way through the session and ended up ninth, a place ahead of Scott Redding, who scraped his way into Q2 with his final lap of the session.

Thus the two Espargaros (Pol, eleventh and Aleix, twelfth), Jack Miller and his recently broken toe (17th) and Bradley Smith (18th) will all attempt to navigate the stormy waters of Q1 on Saturday afternoon.

1. Marc Marquez
2. Andrea Iannone
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Maverick Viñales
5. Cal Crutchlow
6. Valentino Rossi
7. Dani Pedrosa
8. Loris Baz
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Scott Redding

11. Pol Espargaro
12. Aleix Espargaro
13. Hector Barbera
14. Michele Pirro
15. Yonny Hernandez
16. Stefan Bradl
17. Jack Miller
18. Bradley Smith
19. Eugene Laverty
20. Tito Rabat
21. Alvaro Bautista

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