European MotoGP: Zarco tops wet FP3 as Rossi returns

Lewis Duncan
·4-min read

The wet track meant no improvements on the combined times were had, locking the Q1 runners into place based on Friday’s FP2 running.

Quartararo has made it through to Q2 after ending Friday ninth overall, but FP3 proved to tough for the Petronas SRT rider as he continued to struggle with a lack of front end feeling in the wet conditions. 

Having finished last in the wet FP1 and 2.7 seconds off the pace, his fortunes failed to improve as he once again ended up just 19th in the session and 3.2s off of Zarco. 

Avintia’s Zarco took over top spot around six minutes into the session with a 1m42.985s, and traded first place with Tech 3’s Miguel Oliveira and Honda’s Stefan Bradl in the opening stages.

With half the session gone, Oliveira on the sole Tech 3 KTM this weekend returned to the top of the pile with a 1m41.519s and bettered this on his next tour with a 1m41.352s. 

Zarco bested the Tech 3 rider with 15 minutes remaining with a 1m41.113s, which stood as the benchmark until the closing stages when the Frenchman put his own time under immense threat.

The Avintia rider guided his GP19 to a 1m40.735s, before one final effort of 1m40.007 cemented his position at the top of the timesheets when the chequered flag came out. 

Maverick Vinales leaped up to second in the closing stages on his factory Yamaha with a 1m40.743s, but missed the Q2 cut in 11th on the combined times. 

However, this is immaterial for the Yamaha rider as an engine change, which exceeds his allocation for the season, on Friday means he’ll have to start Sunday’s race from pitlane. 

Takaaki Nakagami was top Honda runner in third on the LCR RC213V, with Francesco Bagnaia fourth on the Pramac Ducati ahead of the sister LCR bike of Cal Crutchlow. 

Only Nakagami of that trio has made it straight into Q2, with sixth-placed Oliveira and the works Honda of Alex Marquez also missing the Q2 cut. 

Rossi was eighth on his first appearance since Le Mans following an enforced layoff due to COVID-19, but will face Q1 this afternoon having missed Friday’s running while he awaited the results of a PCR test.

The Suzuki’s of Alex Rins and Joan Mir completed the top 10 in FP2, with both making it into Q2 by virtue of their FP2 times – though the latter was fortunate to be elevated to 10th on the combined times after Crutchlow had his best lap cancelled. 

Fastest overall on the combined times, Pramac’s Jack Miller sat out FP3 to avoid any unnecessary risk having felt strong in the conditions on Friday.

He’ll go straight into Q2, as will Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), the KTM duo Pol Espargaro and Brad Binder and SRT’s Franco Morbidelli – all of whom finished outside of the top 10 in the wet FP3. 

European MotoGP - FP3 results:

1

France
France

Johann Zarco

Ducati Desmosedici GP19
Ducati Desmosedici GP19

Ducati

1'40.007

2

Spain
Spain

Maverick Viñales

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

1'40.743

0.736

3

Japan
Japan

Takaaki Nakagami

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

1'41.071

1.064

4

Italy
Italy

Francesco Bagnaia

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

1'41.193

1.186

5

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Cal Crutchlow

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

1'41.285

1.278

6

Portugal
Portugal

Miguel Oliveira

KTM RC16
KTM RC16

KTM

1'41.352

1.345

7

Spain
Spain

Alex Marquez

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

1'41.589

1.582

8

Italy
Italy

Valentino Rossi

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

1'41.642

1.635

9

Spain
Spain

Alex Rins

Suzuki GSX-RR
Suzuki GSX-RR

Suzuki

1'41.779

1.772

10

Spain
Spain

Joan Mir

Suzuki GSX-RR
Suzuki GSX-RR

Suzuki

1'41.864

1.857

11

Germany
Germany

Stefan Bradl

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

1'41.884

1.877

12

Italy
Italy

Andrea Dovizioso

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

1'42.009

2.002

13

Italy
Italy

Lorenzo Savadori

Aprilia RS-GP
Aprilia RS-GP

Aprilia

1'42.301

2.294

14

Spain
Spain

Pol Espargaro

KTM RC16
KTM RC16

KTM

1'42.506

2.499

15

Spain
Spain

Tito Rabat

Ducati Desmosedici GP19
Ducati Desmosedici GP19

Ducati

1'42.547

2.540

16

Italy
Italy

Danilo Petrucci

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

1'42.824

2.817

17

Italy
Italy

Franco Morbidelli

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

1'42.831

2.824

18

Spain
Spain

Aleix Espargaro

Aprilia RS-GP
Aprilia RS-GP

Aprilia

1'42.957

2.950

19

France
France

Fabio Quartararo

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

1'43.234

3.227

20

South Africa
South Africa

Brad Binder

KTM RC16
KTM RC16

KTM

1'43.534

3.527

21

Australia
Australia

Jack Miller

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

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