Initially it had been Aleix Espargaro who showed his hand and lowered the record that Bagnaia had set on Friday, but not to be outdone the Ducati man immediately claimed the top spot back, then lowered his time further to a session topping 1m 19.765s.

Espargaro had the ability to set a sub 1m 20s lap and would have done so earlier in the session but found Franco Morbidelli on track. 

The Aprilia man eventually got there, again proving to be the biggest competition to Ducati, moving up to second just after Jack Miller had taken the position near the end of the session.

 

 

Miller had found his own traffic on track, arriving on the same piece of tarmac as Johann Zarco. The Australian channelled his frustrations into his next lap, which held on for third.

Zarco, who took pole at this round last year, finished the session fourth himself, his Prima Pramac Ducati team-mate Jorge Martin moving up at the same time as Bagnaia set the new record with his time remaining good enough for fifth, making it four bikes for the Bologna factory inside the top five.

Visor issues for Fabio Quartararo.

The session got off to a slow start for the current world champion as he enjoyed an early excursion thorugh the gravel at turn one as he learned the limits of the Yamaha around the track.

Getting down to business the Frenchman was soon in the mix, hitting the top three briefly in a tight session when the track was at it’s busiest.

The leader in the title hunt then experienced an unexpected hitch - as he looked behind before starting a final time attack his visor popped off his helmet, which the #20 frantically tried to reattach.

It was impossible with gloves on, so Quartararo re-entered the pits. As it was mended back in his pit box both LCR bikes fell in quick succession, bringing out the yellow flags and stopping the damage to Quartararo’s session allowing him to finish sixth.

Joan Mir reacted to tumbling down the timesheets and pushed to the limit to go fifth. No further improvements were possible for the Suzuki rider as he gave so much that he ran straight on into the turn one gravel.That lap remained good enough to hold seventh.

Luca Marini popped up late into eighth for Mooney VR46 Racing Team, propelling yet another Ducati into the top ten.

Maverick Vinales ensured both Aprilia’s made it directly to Q2 moving up into eighth late on.

Takaaki Nakagami had done enough for that spot before his heavy fall at turn one, his time dropped to tenth.

Red Bull Factory KTM rider Miguel Oliveira had looked to have won the the battle for the final slot in the top ten, but was pushed out to eleventh.

 

Big names in Q1


Oliveira will have fierce competition to move out of Q1, though some of those competing are carryng injury.

Pol Espargaro is still suffering with the after effects of his Friday fall for the Honda. Complaining of pain in his ribs and initially finding it difficult to breathe after his crash the Spaniard had a quiet session and finished down in 14th.

Alex Rins arrives with a broken wrist after being collected in the crash caused by Nakagami in Catalunya. Too small to be operated on he is having to compensate by altering his riding style and is in considerable pain. The Suzuki rider finished FP3 in 17th.

A three time winner this season, Enea Bastianini will also be looking to progress for Gresini after finishing the morning session in 18th.