MotoGP Argentina: Marquez dominates wet FP3, Ducatis miss Q2 spots

Honda rider Marc Marquez dominated the third MotoGP practice session at Argentina’s Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, as both works Ducati riders missed out on automatic Q2 spots.

A wet-weather session left championship leader Andrea Dovizioso and team-mate Jorge Lorenzo – as well as Pramac rider Danilo Petrucci, also riding a 2018-specification Ducati – outside of the combined practice top 10, after the Italian marque’s bikes struggled on Friday.

Rain overnight followed by overcast conditions in the morning meant the track surface did not dry in time for third practice, and riders were forced to wet-tyre test.

Marquez seized the top spot in the opening minutes, but was soon surpassed by Dovizioso, before Tech3 duo Hafizh Syahrin and Johann Zarco also took turns at the front.

But the reigning champion reclaimed the lead with the session’s first sub-1m51s lap, before subsequent improvements shuffled him down the order.

Yet Marquez saved his best for last, logging a 1m48.896s in the final seconds – which left him comfortably in first place, despite being over nine seconds down on his Friday benchmark.

Zarco improved at the chequered flag to cut Marquez’s advantage to 0.607s, while Nieto Ducati duo Alvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham were the only other two riders to get within a second of the Honda man.

Petrucci made it three Ducatis in the top five in FP3, followed by LCR’s Cal Crutchlow and KTM rider Pol Espargaro, with Syahrin, Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa making up the top 10.

While both works Ducati riders will have to fight their way through Q1, the rest of MotoGP’s leading factories are assured of having their bikes in the pole shoot-out.

Marquez and Pedrosa will be joined in Q2 by Crutchlow on his privateer Honda, with Suzuki riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins and Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales of Yamaha also booking their spots.

Zarco and Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller are in as well, as the two riders to advance on the strength of their FP1 times.

Miller is joined by fellow GP17 rider Tito Rabat – the only other Ducati to make sure of a Q2 spot.

FP3 results

Pos Rider Team Bike Gap Laps
1 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m48.896s 14
2 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 0.607s 21
3 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati Ducati 0.932s 20
4 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati Ducati 0.996s 15
5 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati Ducati 1.052s 15
6 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 1.253s 13
7 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 1.349s 15
8 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1.365s 18
9 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1.500s 17
10 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 1.567s 16
11 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1.749s 19
12 Andrea Iannone Suzuki Suzuki 1.783s 17
13 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 1.789s 17
14 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 1.851s 14
15 Scott Redding Aprilia Aprilia 2.076s 12
16 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati Ducati 2.105s 18
17 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati Ducati 2.155s 20
18 Franco Morbidelli MVDS Honda Honda 2.274s 19
19 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 2.301s 17
20 Bradley Smith KTM KTM 2.400s 13
21 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 2.740s 20
22 Thomas Luthi MVDS Honda Honda 3.456s 17
23 Xavier Simeon Avintia Ducati Ducati 3.566s 18
24 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 3.752s 6

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