Italian MotoGP - Free Practice Results (3)

Danilo Petrucci powered to the top of the timesheets in FP3 for the Italian MotoGP at Mugello, but his title challenging team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, Valentino Rossi and Alex Rins were among the big names to miss out on a direct route into Q2.

In a fast-paced session that was only decided in an exciting final few minutes, Petrucci nonetheless wrapped up the top spot with ten minutes remaining on the clock thanks to a beautifully-executed revolution of 1m 46.056s on the factory Ducati.

Cracking Valentino Rossi’s Mugello lap record by 0.152secs despite visibly suffering off the bike with the flu virus also hampering Marc Marquez, Petrucci’s efforts suggest the first ever sub 1m 46secs lap of Mugello is in the offing in qualifying.

Petrucci’s efforts, however, were in stark contrast to his title-contending team-mate Dovizioso, who will be forced to reach Q2 via Q1 after ending up 11th quickest. The Italian, who complained of struggling with set-up on Friday, looked no more comfortable in FP3 and while at one stage it looked like he may be joined by rival Marquez as the Spaniard struggled to hook up a clean lap, the series leader nonetheless pulled it out of the bag when it mattered to go third best.

Joining Dovizioso in an earlier qualifying appearance is last year’s pole sitter Rossi, who scuppered his chances of reaching Q2 when he ran off at the final corner whilst on a lap that would have ensured all four Yamahas secured their passage.

Back up front, Pol Espargaro confirmed KTM’s Friday form with the second fastest time – well up on Johann Zarco down in 20th – with the Spaniard benefitting from Marquez’s tow to get within thousandths of also going under the erstwhile lap record.

Behind Marquez, Takaaki Nakagami spent a long time at the top of the timesheets en route to fourth, ahead of the late-improving Jack Miller and Fabio Quartararo, the Frenchman putting in sectors that could have placed him higher only to persistently lose time on the home straight without a tow.

Despite the speed deficit, Yamaha will be encouraged to see three of its four bikes into Q2 with Quartararo followed by Maverick Vinales in seventh and Franco Morbidelli in ninth. Cal Crutchlow joined Nakagami into Q2 despite coming off his LCR Honda in the final minutes at turn four.

Fastest on Friday, Francesco Bagnaia marginally improved on his headline-grabbing FP2 effort but – thanks to Rossi’s mistake – it was enough to ensure he made it into Q2 aboard the 2018-spec Pramac Ducati.

Elsewhere, Jorge Lorenzo and Alex Rins were the other notable factory names joining Dovizioso and Rossi into Q2, meaning at least two big names will not progress beyond Q1. Rins, who was seventh best on Friday, crashed his Suzuki early on in the session but while he made it back out before the end, he couldn’t manage better than 17th.

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