11th to start FP3 at the British MotoGP, Francesco Bagnaia led a trio of Ducatis who were in need of finding improvements in order to secure an automatic Q2 spot. 

There were no such worries for Bagnaia’s title rivals Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro as both riders were inside the top five to begin FP3. 

As was the case in FP2, Espargaro began the session following team-mate Maverick Vinales, who has again been in brilliant form after securing his first podium with Aprilia in Assen. 

Although combined lap times remained unchanged, the start of FP3 was a good one for Ducati as Johann Zarco led a 1-2-3 ahead of Jack Miller and Bagnaia. 

Showing good pace aboard his Red Bull KTM, Miguel Oliveira was the first rider to significantly improve as he jumped up to sixth place. 

Leading Miller by nearly four tenths (FP3 times), Zarco’s lead was then reduced by Vinales as the Aprilia rider split the two Ducatis. 

No great surprise given how he attacked the Long Lap loop on Friday, Quartararo was consistently losing less than a second on his latest attempts. 

Just like FP1 and FP2, Rins was again showing podium pace during his long run performance, as was Vinales. 

However, with over 20 minutes still to run the focus changed to time attack runs as Brad Binder was one of the first to switch to soft tyres. 

Binder improved from 21st to 14th but it was at the front of the field where the action began to heat up, as Aprilia made their move.

Espargaro went two tenths clear of Quartararo’s FP2 times before Vinales stunned his team-mate with a time of 1:58.599s.

In dominant form, Aprilia were proving tough to beat as Espargaro lowered the benchmark time even further. 

A sensational effort from the Spaniard saw him clock a time of 1:58.254s, however, Miller was able to get within a tenth of Espargaro during his first time attack of FP3.

Making it three riders within a tenth of a second, Zarco popped his Pramac Ducati into P3. What the flurry of fast laps did do was push Rins all the way down to tenth and on the brink of losing an automatic Q2 spot. 

Tempers flar between MotoGP title rivals

In need of a better lap, Bagnaia, who was down in ninth place, felt he was impeded by Espargaro which led to the Ducati rider gesturing towards the Aprilia man. 

Of the mindset that he did nothing wrong, Espargaro responded with his own gestures as Bagnaia set about preparing a new lap. 

Bagnaia eventually moved up the order (seventh) but it was Zarco who was finding the most pace. On course for a potential new lap record and first-ever 1m 57s lap around Silverstone, the French rider then crashed in sector three.