2020 Styrian MotoGP - Free Practice Results (3)

Joan Mir landed the quickest time in a closely-contested third free practice session for the 2020 Styrian MotoGP at the Red Bull Ring, ahead of championship leader Fabio Quartararo and Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami.

Fresh from scoring his maiden MotoGP podium only days earlier around the same Austrian venue, Mir was again up at the sharp end throughout the FP3 session, the Spaniard pumping in a 1m 23.456secs lap with just under six minutes remaining to give Suzuki the upper hand heading into qualifying later today.

Indeed, with single-lap qualifying pace identified as an area of weakness for Mir since making his debut, he heads into this afternoon’s session eyeing a maiden front row start in MotoGP.

He will face competition from a number of riders though, not least single lap specialist Quartararo, who was back on fine form this morning having ensured a handful of off-track excursions on Friday to leave him outside the top ten.

However, he ended FP3 back up in second position, heading off Takaaki Nakagami, who once more fronted the Honda challenge as the only RC213V rider to book an automatic route through to Q2 this afternoon.

A race winner on Sunday, Andrea Dovizioso is also comfortably through to Q2 with the fourth best time, ahead of last weekend’s pole sitter Maverick Vinales.

Pol Espargaro and Migiel Oliveira ensured at least two KTMs would be present in Q2 with the sixth and seventh best laps, where they will also be joined by Franco Morbidelli and Alex Rins who progressed in eighth and ninth.

Picking up the tenth and final guaranteed Q2 slot was Jack Miller, but only after a few precarious moments waiting it out in the pit garage after crashing his Pramac Ducati on the entry to Turn 6 in the final minutes. Despite the thump as he came down, Miller was able to pick himself up again in time to watch his rivals just fall short of bumping him out of the top ten.

That spelled bad news for Brad Binder, who’d end up just 0.003s shy of the Australian and also rather more surprisingly Johann Zarco, who shrugged off a lack of running on Friday to turn in the 12th best time. Regardless though, the Frenchman – who has had a fractured scaphoid operated on – will start Sunday’s Styrian MotoGP from the pit lane as a result of his punishment for last weekend’s incident.

Elsewhere, Valentino Rossi and Cal Crutchlow are among those who will need to target a good qualifying results via Q1, together with Alex Marquez who was lucky to get away with a fast crash at Turn 9 midway through the session.

 

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