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MotoGP Malaysia: Vinales heads tight top four in FP3

Maverick Viñales leads a hotly-contested dry FP3 in Sepang, but barely anything separates him from Marc Marquez and the Movistar Yamaha duo.
Continuing on from Friday morning, the last opportunity MotoGP riders had to sample Sepang's new surface and slightly revised layout, Maverick Viñales once again showcased his ability by topping a tightly packed FP3 session.

Viñales took his Suzuki GSX-RR to within nine tenths of a second of the absolute lap record of the Sepang track, his late run enough to push fellow Catalan Marc Marquez into second.

The Movistar Yamaha duo of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi made up the top four, with the Italian's fastest time just 0.16s slower than Viñales, the man with whom he will share the factory Yamaha garage in 2017.

Marquez was showing no ill-effects of the gastroenteritis that caused him to sit out FP2, and should it remain dry, we may well have a fairly chaotic fight for the top positions in Sunday's race.

Back competing for the Avintia Ducati squad, after two replacement rides in the factory team, Hector Barbera was an impressive fifth, ahead of the returning Andrea Iannone, and one-time leader Aleix Espargaro.

Andrea Dovizioso was the third fastest Ducati in eighth, while Pol Espargaro (ninth) and Alvaro Bautista (tenth) automatically qualified for this afternoon's Q2 session.

Both Pramac Ducatis narrowly missed the top-ten cut with Scott Redding in eleventh just 0.037s off Bautista's time, and Danilo Petrucci (twelfth) only 0.05s slower than his team-mate.

There was no special treatment for birthday boy Cal Crutchlow, who fell at turn seven with just seconds of the session to spare. The Englishman had just posted a fastest first sector before crashing out, leaving him 13th and inside Q1.

He will also be joined by Bradley Smith (14th), Eugene Laverty (15th), Stefan Bradl (16th) and Jack Miller (17th).

FP3:
1. Maverick Viñales
2. Marc Marquez
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Valentino Rossi
5. Hector Barbera
6. Andrea Iannone
7. Aleix Espargaro
8. Andrea Dovizioso
9. Pol Espargaro
10. Alvaro Bautista
11. Scott Redding
12. Danilo Petrucci
13. Cal Crutchlow
14. Bradley Smith
15. Eugene Laverty
16. Stefan Bradl
17. Jack Miller
18. Yonny Hernandez
19. Tito Rabat
20. Loris Baz
21. Hiroshi Aoyama

CLICK HERE for full results.





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Vinales, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Rossi at 2016 Monza Rally Show (Monster)
Marquez at FIM Gala
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith, Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Iannone, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016

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