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Valencia MotoGP: Quartararo heads Marquez in Saturday practice

Lewis Duncan
Quartararo continues dominance into Saturday

Fabio Quartararo did not relent his stranglehold on MotoGP's Valencia Grand Prix practice timesheets on Saturday morning, topping the session by 0.224 seconds from Marc Marquez.

Friday pacesetter Quartararo had led third practice in the early running, and took back over late on with a 1m30.232s to head into this afternoon's qualifying as the rider to beat.

Marquez edged clear of the field with a 1m31.631s five minutes in, which he duly improved by six tenths before becoming the first rider to improve on combined times with a 1m30.898s - a laptime just 0.163s outside Quartararo's Friday best.

This moved the Honda rider half a second clear of the field in practice three but kept him third overall on combined times.

Marquez's lap would remain the benchmark in the session until the closing stages.

Quartararo's Petronas SRT Yamaha team-mate Franco Morbidelli challenged Marquez's time as the session entered its final eight minutes, but missed out by 0.086s.

Four minutes later, works Yamaha runner Maverick Vinales deposed Marquez with a 1m30.766s, before his team-mate Valentino Rossi took over at the top of the combined times with a 1m30.630s.

Pramac's Jack Miller, who had also led early on, returned to the top of the standings shortly after Rossi set his pacesetting lap with a 1m30.543s, though Quartararo was by then starting to light up the timing screens.

Quartararo produced a 1m30.232s, which would not be bettered as the chequered flag brought the session to an end, with Marquez leaping up to second with a final effort of 1m30.456s.

Quartararo continues dominance into Saturday

Miller held onto third ahead of Rossi and Morbidelli, while Vinales found himself shuffled back to sixth after the final salvo of laps.

Factory Ducati duo Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso slotted in behind the Yamaha rider, with Joan Mir the only Suzuki directly into Q2 after team-mate Alex Rins missed out in 12th.

LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow secured the last direct Q2 placement despite suffering a crash at the Turn 10 right-hander midway through the session.

Aleix Espargaro - who was 18th - crashed his Aprilia twice in practice three, while Pramac's Francesco Bagnaia was sent over the handlebars of his GP18 while exiting pitlane late on in a bizarre incident.

KTM rider Pol Espargaro was denied direct passage to Q2 by just 0.043s in the end, having sat second in the session at one point in the closing stages.

Tech3 KTM rookie Iker Lecuona had an impressive second morning as a MotoGP rider, as he managed to find a further eight tenths on his Friday best and ended up ahead of works KTM rider Mika Kallio, Bagnaia and his Tech3 team-mate Hafizh Syahrin in 20th.

Practice three times

Pos Rider Team Time Gap Laps
1 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha 1m30.232s - 20
2 Marc Marquez Honda 1m30.456s 0.224s 22
3 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati 1m30.543s 0.311s 19
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m30.630s 0.398s 22
5 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha 1m30.723s 0.491s 22
6 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 1m30.735s 0.503s 20
7 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1m30.847s 0.615s 21
8 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m30.851s 0.619s 22
9 Joan Mir Suzuki 1m30.958s 0.726s 23
10 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1m30.996s 0.764s 19
11 Pol Espargaro KTM 1m31.039s 0.807s 20
12 Alex Rins Suzuki 1m31.093s 0.861s 23
13 Johann Zarco LCR Honda 1m31.205s 0.973s 22
14 Jorge Lorenzo Honda 1m31.383s 1.151s 19
15 Andrea Iannone Aprilia 1m31.667s 1.435s 22
16 Michele Pirro Ducati 1m31.671s 1.439s 19
17 Karel Abraham Avintia Ducati 1m31.786s 1.554s 19
18 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1m31.868s 1.636s 13
19 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati 1m32.265s 2.033s 24
20 Iker Lecuona Tech3 KTM 1m32.398s 2.166s 20
21 Mika Kallio KTM 1m32.521s 2.289s 21
22 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati 1m32.599s 2.367s 15
23 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 KTM 1m33.046s 2.814s 18

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