Petrucci leads FP3 at Jerez with a blistering pace

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Ducati's Danilo Petrucci set the first ever 1:36 MotoGP lap around the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto in an outrageously good FP3 at the Spanish Grand Prix as the top 14 riders all went under the previous lap record.

Marc Marquez sits second, 0.061 off Petrucci’s pace, with fabulous Fabio Quartararo sitting third.

Well, where to start? Straight away in the cooler conditions, Alex Rins made his move to go into the top ten after missing out on Friday, pushing Jack Miller in the process and on his next flying lap, Rins went to P1. Valentino Rossi was also an early mover to get himself into the top ten in the early stages – The Doctor jumping up to sixth.

Marquez then took over at the summit, a 1:37.712 pushing Rins to second as the reigning World Champion went 0.128 faster. Then, while on a personal best lap, Cal Crutchlow crashed at Turn 10. Rider ok, but Crutchlow’s LCR Honda hit the air-fence, leading it to deflate as the Red Flags came out with 17m17s to go in order for a repair job to take place.

We weren’t waiting too long before the premier class riders headed back out for a 17-minute dash for an automatic Q2 place, with much of the field sticking the soft rear Michelin rubber in. And boy, was it a barnstorming 17 minutes. Jorge Lorenzo went quickest on his first flying lap, which set the tone for the rest of the session as we witnessed an incredible battle for the automatic Q2 places.

Quartararo then went to first before Takaaki Nakagami became the first rider to break Crutchlow’s lap record set last year, but Petrucci topped the Japanese rider with a 1:37.547. Quartararo then took P1 back, but a certain seven-time World Champion was lighting up the timing screens. Marquez had slipped to P9 with eight minutes to go, with riders such as Rins, Maverick Viñales and Crutchlow needing to improve their lap times.

And sure enough, Marquez hammered the lap record by over four tenths after Rossi had gone to the summit, with Franco Morbidelli and Crutchlow then interchanging P2 to knock Marquez’ advantage down to three tenths. Nakagami then went back to P2 before Petrucci but in a blinder, topping Marquez by 0.061 to set the first ever sub 1:37 lap at Jerez.

However, despite sitting top of the session in the latter stages, Lorenzo, Quartararo and Rossi were on the fringes of the top ten. Rossi couldn’t improve, but fast Fabio was on a lap that would knock the nine-time World Champion out of the top ten. The Frenchman did exactly that to go from P11 to P3, Lorenzo held on to P10, Rossi misses out.

After all that, Petrucci, Marquez and Quartararo are your top three heading into qualifying, with Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso cementing a Q2 spot in fourth. The two Team Suzuki Ecstar riders sit 5th and 6th, Joan Mir leading his teammate Rins by 0.028, with Nakagami heading his teammate Crutchlow in 7th and 8th. Morbidelli and Lorenzo close out the top ten covered by just 0.419 seconds, with the top 16 split by under a second.

Full Result:

Pos. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'36.957  
2 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'37.018 0.061 / 0.061
3 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 1'37.232 0.275 / 0.214
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'37.292 0.335 / 0.060
5 Joan MIR Suzuki 1'37.292 0.335
6 Alex RINS Suzuki 1'37.320 0.363 / 0.028
7 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 1'37.324 0.367 / 0.004
8 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'37.358 0.401 / 0.034
9 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 1'37.370 0.413 / 0.012
10 Jorge LORENZO Honda 1'37.376 0.419 / 0.006
11 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'37.417 0.460 / 0.041
12 Jack MILLER Ducati 1'37.424 0.467 / 0.007
13 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'37.492 0.535 / 0.068
14 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 1'37.547 0.590 / 0.055
15 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'37.661 0.704 / 0.114
16 Stefan BRADL Honda 1'37.889 0.932 / 0.228
17 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 1'38.006 1.049 / 0.117
18 Tito RABAT Ducati 1'38.245 1.288 / 0.239
19 Johann ZARCO KTM 1'38.298 1.341 / 0.053
20 Andrea IANNONE Aprilia 1'38.327 1.370 / 0.029
21 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 1'38.580 1.623 / 0.253
22 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 1'38.669 1.712 / 0.089
23 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1'38.838 1.881 / 0.169
24 Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM 1'40.218 3.261 / 1.380