Francesco Bagnaia swiped the top spot ahead of Fabio Quartararo with a 1:37.209.
The Ducati Lenovo Team rider was a part of the Top 4 dash within the final 2 minutes of Friday’s final session. With Franco Morbidelli leading into the last minutes, it was first Quartararo who dethroned the Italian, with a time of 1:37.695. However, there was barely time to even breathe before Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro took another 0.049s off of the top time – the Spaniard yet again showing a promising pace this weekend.
With a minute still remaining of the session, it was no surprise that the challenge for P1 wasn’t over, and it was Bagnaia who stormed to the front with a titillating 0.2 second gap back to Espargaro; this gave the man in red enough of a leeway to stay number 1 for the remainder of the session, with Quartararo managing to reclaim second place with just 1 second left before the chequered flag.
The Top 4 didn’t change at the flag, with Viñales following fellow Yamaha rider Morbidelli in 5th. LCR Honda Idemitsu’s Takaaki Nakagami looks to be back to his usual self in P6, with Miguel Oliveira also looking promising in 7th. Alex Rins was the sole Suzuki ECSTAR rider within the Top 10 in 8th place, with Johann Zarco just 0.041s behind in 9th. Only a small number of riders improved their times after the flag, with Brad Binder taking the final Top 10 spot, and Luca Marini being promoted to 15th.
Stefan Bradl lead the Honda charge in P11, as Pol Espargaro remains down the order in 14th. Marc Marquez faces Q1 later today, as the Spaniard failed to improve on his time from Free Practice 1, and resides in 16thplace. Joan Mir will also be in the first Qualifying session, after ending Friday in P13 on the combined sheets, just behind Jack Miller in 12th.
Danilo Petrucci leads the Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing duo after Friday in P17, with teammate Iker Lecuona in 22nd. Enea Bastianini will be looking to improve on his current 18th place position, residing just ahead of Lorenzo Savadori in 19th. Alex Marquez takes the final Top 20 spot, ahead of Valentino Rossi in 21st – The Doctor suffering from a lap cancellation in FP2. Tito Rabat, who is standing in for injured Jorge Martin onboard of the Pramac Racing machine, rounds out the grid in 22nd place.
With the entire class covered by just 1.8 seconds, Qualifying will be the one to watch!
The next session for MotoGP will be Free Practice 3 at 09:55am Local Time (GMT +2).
Feature Image: MotoGP.com