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Misano MotoGP: Johann Zarco heads Jack Miller in drying FP3

Zarco Misano

Johann Zarco and Jack Miller were first and second in the damp third MotoGP practice session at Misano, with both riders earning a spot in Q2 as a result.

The session started in damp conditions, and most of the field decided to stay in pits in the early stages, with only a few riders completing one lap on wet tyres.

The only three riders lapping on slicks from the get go were Alvaro Bautista, Dani Pedrosa and Zarco, with Bautista setting and then repeatedly lowering the FP3 benchmark.

The Nieto Ducati rider's first lap was a 1m44.251s but the pace improved by eight seconds during the next 15 minutes and, when Pedrosa finally demoted the World Superbike-bound Spaniard, others started to venture out on track as well.

Pedrosa still led for another 10 minutes when fellow Honda rider Tom Luthi edged him out, and then Marc Marquez took over.

Marquez first set two 1m35s efforts and then another two in the 1m33s range, the second of those giving him a lead of 1.9s with 12 minutes on the clock.

But with Marquez not improving, others caught up before Andrea Dovizioso and Zarco moved ahead.

Miller Misano

Zarco, only 11th overall after FP2, was battling for a Q2 spot, but his 1m33.010s was two tenths off Friday's cut-off time set by Franco Morbidelli.

The Tech 3 Yamaha rider did not improve next time around but Miller, who followed him on track, did - moving into the overall top 10 with the 1m32.871s he set just a few seconds before the chequered flag fell.

However, Zarco fought back as he had time for another lap to eventually take first in FP3 with a 1m32.788s, which translated to ninth in the overall classification.

Miller was second, 0.073s adrift, with Dovizioso and Marquez completing the top four.

LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow took fifth ahead of Alex Rins, with the top six all securing Q2 berths.

Franco Morbidelli continued his impressive weekend with a seventh, but he, along with Andrea Iannone, was pushed out of the overall top 10 by Zarco and Miller.

Qualifying later on Saturday will thus mark the first time Andrea Iannone has had to fight through the opening segment since the corresponding event last year.

Pedrosa ended up eighth with Hafizh Syahrin recovering from a difficult Friday to take ninth.

It was a quiet session for the factory Yamahas as Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi were 10th and 20th respectively, but both are into Q2.

The Ducati GP18s of Danilo Petrucci, 15th, and Jorge Lorenzo, who ended FP3 without a laptime, also stayed in the overall top 10.

Tom Luthi and Bradley Smith both crashed in the dying stages at Turn 8 and 14 respectively.

FP3 times

1Johann ZarcoTech3 YamahaYamaha1m32.788s-21
2Jack MillerPramac DucatiDucati1m32.861s0.073s14
3Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati1m33.278s0.490s8
4Marc MarquezHondaHonda1m33.322s0.534s13
5Cal CrutchlowLCR HondaHonda1m33.366s0.578s10
6Alex RinsSuzukiSuzuki1m33.554s0.766s11
7Franco MorbidelliMVDS HondaHonda1m33.600s0.812s9
8Dani PedrosaHondaHonda1m33.689s0.901s17
9Hafizh SyahrinTech3 YamahaYamaha1m33.743s0.955s12
10Maverick VinalesYamahaYamaha1m33.774s0.986s8
11Alvaro BautistaAspar DucatiDucati1m33.926s1.138s22
12Takaaki NakagamiLCR HondaHonda1m34.170s1.382s11
13Xavier SimeonAvintia DucatiDucati1m34.485s1.697s12
14Scott ReddingApriliaAprilia1m34.500s1.712s13
15Danilo PetrucciPramac DucatiDucati1m34.681s1.893s5
16Stefan BradlHondaHonda1m34.889s2.101s13
17Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia1m34.941s2.153s7
18Michele PirroDucatiDucati1m34.953s2.165s9
19Pol EspargaroKTMKTM1m34.963s2.175s13
20Valentino RossiYamahaYamaha1m35.202s2.414s10
21Bradley SmithKTMKTM1m35.236s2.448s15
22Thomas LuthiMVDS HondaHonda1m35.598s2.810s10
23Karel AbrahamAspar DucatiDucati1m35.808s3.020s11
-Christophe PonssonAvintia DucatiDucati1m40.469s7.681s8
-Andrea IannoneSuzukiSuzuki1m50.722s17.934s2
-Jorge LorenzoDucatiDucati--0

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