World championship leader Fabio Quartararo moves to the top of the timesheets during Free Practice 3 for the 2021 Aragon MotoGP.

A typically franctic and ultra-close end of the session, courtesy of big gains on new soft rear tyres, saw the likes of 2020 pole sitter Takaaki Nakagami, plus Quartararo and current title rivals Francesco Bagnaia and Joan Mir all exchange P1 before Quartararo delivered an untouchable 1m 46.926s.

Aleix Espargaro then continued his excellent Aprilia form with second, before separate falls by both of the Marquez brothers brought out yellow flags.

The top ten riders after FP3 (combined times) receive direct access to the second and final part of qualifying, with the likes of Johann Zarco and Alex Rins missing out and heading for Qualifying 1.

After splitting from Yamaha following Austria and missing Silverstone, Maverick Vinales returns to MotoGP action with Aprilia, where he has signed to race until the end of 2022. Vinales, 20th and +1.142s on Friday, was 17th and +0.863s this morning.

Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow is replacing Vinales at the Factory Yamaha team for the second event in a row, and was an excellent third in Friday practice, with Jake Dixon likewise staying at Petronas Yamaha on the injured Franco Morbidelli's 2019 A-spec bike.

Dixon, 22nd and +2.374s on Friday, cut his lap time significantly to be +1.496s this morning, the closest he has been so far (after +1.6s in warm-up at Silverstone).

Having missed the 2020 rounds through injury, Marc Marquez is seeking his fifth Aragon win in a row at one of his favourite anti-clockwise tracks.

Danilo Petrucci was the only rider not to improve this morning...

Aragon MotoGP, MotorLand - Free Practice (3) Results
1Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)1'46.926s18/19340k
2Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)+0.023s17/17345k
3Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.056s16/19337k
4Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Team (GP21)+0.058s15/19344k
5Jack MillerAUSDucati Team (GP21)+0.133s18/18341k
6Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP21)*+0.194s17/18342k
7Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.208s17/19344k
8Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.259s16/19340k
9Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+0.330s16/17340k
10Enea BastianiniITAAvintia Ducati (GP19)*+0.350s15/16344k
11Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP21)+0.402s17/17345k
12Cal CrutchlowGBRMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.427s16/18342k
13Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.463s19/19341k
14Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.470s19/19344k
15Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.625s19/19341k
16Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+0.747s13/17342k
17Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)+0.863s15/17340k
18Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.879s14/18350k
19Iker LecuonaSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+0.903s17/18344k
20Luca MariniITASky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*+1.167s13/17342k
21Danilo PetrucciITAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+1.471s14/18338k
22Jake DixonGBRPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.496s11/16334k

* Rookie

Riders directly to Qualifying 2 - Top 10 Combined Practice Times:
1Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)
2Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)
3Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)
4Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Team (GP21)
5Jack MillerAUSDucati Team (GP21)
6Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP21)*
7Pol EspargaroESPRepsol Honda (RC213V)
8Marc MarquezESPRepsol Honda (RC213V)
9Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)
10Enea BastianiniITAAvintia Esponsorama (GP19)*

Fastest Friday time:
Jack Miller AUS Ducati 1m 47.613s

Official Aragon MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Marc Marquez SPA Honda 1m 46.635s (2015)
Fastest race lap:
Franco Morbidelli ITA Yamaha 1m 48.249s(2020)

By Peter McLaren