A glance at the time sheets won’t make for pleasurable reading for Marc Marquez’s title rivals. The reigning world champion was close to one second clear of the field in Sunday’s soaking wet MotoGP warm-up session at Misano.

However, the aftermath of another jaw-dropping wet weather display will offer some hope. Just as the 24-year old put 0.994s into second fastest Danilo Petrucci, the almost inevitable happened; a front-end fall at turn three, his third crash of the weekend. It had taken 19 minutes, but Marquez had found the limit.

That wasn’t the sole occasion the Repsol Honda rider had danced on the edge, as a massive rear end slide on the exit of the final corner was handled with the kind of graceful calm that few others could execute.

With Petrucci second, rain specialist Loris Baz third, and his two title rivals Maverick Viñales (seventh) and Andrea Dovizioso (eighth) outside the top six, surely Marquez will sense a chance to claw back vital ground in this title chase.

Petrucci and Baz hinted an afternoon upset may be on the cards, with Jorge Lorenzo backing up his fellow Ducati men with the fourth fastest time. Following on from a successful wet warm-up at Brno, the Majorcan has clearly understood how to manoeuvre his GP17 in the rain.

Cal Crutchlow had stated he wasn’t best pleased when considering the prospect of a wet race on Saturday, but the Englishman was nonetheless fast, posting the fifth fastest time. Considering his current form, and Suzuki’s continued struggles in the rain, Andrea Iannone’s presence in sixth very much came as a surprise.

While Marquez’s fastest time raised the bar, times behind were close. Viñales in seventh was a little over 0.3s off Petrucci’s best effort. Dovizioso had used this as a test session of sorts, with the Italian sampling Ducati’s new aerodynamic fairing for the first time this weekend.

Englishmen Sam Lowes (ninth) and Scott Redding (tenth) enjoyed promising showings in the rain, with Alex Rins’ (eleventh) position also much improved.

Along with Marquez, Dani Pedrosa was an early faller at turn four. The Catalan was a troubling 23rd, a place behind Karel Abraham, who also fell in the session.

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