Austrian MotoGP: Vinales tops FP3 on drying Red Bull Ring track – MotoGP

Maverick Vinales topped a mixed third MotoGP practice for the Austrian Grand Prix to bag a Q2 place in qualifying, while Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi missed out.

Heavy overnight rain left the Red Bull Ring damp for the start of MotoGP FP3, though a drying line was appearing as bikes took to the track for the 45-minute session.

Top spot changed hands several times on the damp track, with Danilo Petrucci on the Ducati, Suzuki’s Alex Rins, Vinales on the Yamaha and Tech3 KTM’s Miguel Oliveira taking turns heading the standings.

Oliveira’s lap of 1m31.460s set 15 minutes in stood as the benchmark for around 10 minutes, before Johann Zarco guided his Avintia Ducati to top spot with a 1m31.029s.

As Zarco set that lap, several riders had fitted slicks to their machines and were beginning to light up the timing screens.

Honda’s Alex Marquez set the first representative dry tyre lap with 16 minutes to go, deposing Zarco with a 1m30.038s.

The reigning Moto2 world champion improved to a 1m28.576s, before Andrea Dovizioso assumed control of the timesheets with a 1m27.380s.

PLUS: Is the real Dovizioso back after Austria MotoGP practice?

The Ducati rider carved into that lap on his following two tours, improving to a 1m26.198s, a 1m25.747s, and then a 1m25.479s.

KTM’s Pol Espargaro took over top spot briefly, but Dovizioso usurped this with a 1m24.832s – a laptime just a tenth outside of the pace needed to make an improvement on the combined practice times.

Vinales proved there was potential to improve on the combined times in the closing stages, as a 1m24.317s put Vinales top of the FP3 timesheet and third overall to cement his place in Q2, though KTM’s Espargaro remained fastest on the combined times by virtue of his FP1 lap.

Dovizioso was third in the session and second overall, with Jack Miller fourth on combined times on his Pramac Ducati after ending FP3 second.

Oliveira was fifth in FP3 with a 1m24.508s, which bagged him a Q2 place along with Joan Mir (Suzuki), seventh-placed Espargaro and Fabio Quartararo – who fired in a 1m24.611s at the death to edge Zarco by 0.044s on the combined times in 10th to grab the last Q2 place.

The top 10 in FP3 was completed by Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) and LCR’s Cal Crutchlow, but both will join Rossi and Brno race winner Brad Binder (KTM) in the first part of qualifying later this afternoon.

Red Bull Ring FP3 result

Pos Rider Team Gap
1 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 1m24.317s
2 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati 0.046s
3 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 0.109s
4 Alex Rins Suzuki 0.117s
5 Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM 0.191s
6 Joan Mir Suzuki 0.200s
7 Pol Espargaro KTM 0.208s
8 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha 0.294s
9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 0.346s
10 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 0.644s
11 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 0.704s
12 Michele Pirro Pramac Ducati 0.722s
13 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 0.731s
14 Iker Lecuona Tech3 KTM 0.872s
15 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha 1.001s
16 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1.117s
17 Alex Marquez Honda 1.150s
18 Johann Zarco Avintia Ducati 1.151s
19 Brad Binder KTM 1.163s
20 Bradley Smith Aprilia 1.336s
21 Stefan Bradl Honda 1.702s
22 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati 4.788s

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