On Saturday morning, the record for all laps in the motorcycle class was improved three times at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans. Johann Zarco, Pico Bagnaia and Fabio Quartaro were on top at the end of FP3.
The Grisini-Ducati Ice Inna Bastianini beat four-year-old Johann Zarco’s record at the 4.185km Bugatti Circuit in FP2 on Friday in 1:31.148. Jack Miller predicted faster times for Saturday: “On Saturday, we’ll set lap times at 1:30, for sure. The Factory Ducati rider indicated the FP3 especially when it’s cold in the morning.
The third free practice began at 9.55 a.m. in the sun, 16 degrees in the air and 17 degrees in the asphalt heat. The task was straightforward: Only the top ten of the combined schedules go straight into the second quarter, which begins at 2:35 p.m. The remaining MotoGP racers will battle it out in the first quarter at 2.10pm for the last two tickets for the crucial second qualifying session. SPEEDWEEK.com flags motorbike qualifiers live.
Ten minutes later, Marc Márquez in FP3 became the first MotoGP motorcycle rider to improve in his personal best on Friday. At 1:31,965 minutes he got close to the top ten in twelfth place. Fellow Honda brand Takaaki Nakagami only briefly pushed back to 10th at this early stage, and Jorge Martin responded.
Taka’s left knee didn’t reach 100 percent after crashing in the Jerez test. “Until Tuesday, I couldn’t bend it at all. I was expecting worse, but it’s okay. The problem is changing direction. It was very painful but I could ride the bike and the performance wasn’t too bad. We have to manage that,” the 30-year-old Japanese reported. After the first day of training.
After 20 minutes, Pol Espargaró crashed into a 7-turn – by the way, this was the fifth MotoGP rider’s crash into the “museum” corner this weekend.
In the middle of the 45-minute session, Fabio Quartararo was leading the FP3 standings with a time of 1:31.713 minutes. In the pooled timelines there were no changes to the top compared to FP2. Nakagami started a first-time chase on new soft tires 20 minutes before the start. 1:31,471, which would have put him provisionally fourth in the general standings, was taken out of the standings because the track limit was crossed by turn 14.
A quarter of an hour before the end, Bastianini stopped his smoking GP21 on the edge of the track in Sector Three. However, his best time on Friday should suffice for a direct entry into the second quarter, even though the time slate was turned upside down again in the final 10 minutes.
Marc Marquez himself commented on Quartararo – and he backed the correct leaked horse: The World Championship captain was the first MotoGP rider to stay under 1:31 at Le Mans and lost the lap record to 1:30.847. Marquez was briefly behind him in third (+0.502sec) despite wobbly in turn 10.
Then it was the turn of Bajnaya, who had been out of the top ten before. He put 1:30.568 minutes ahead – another record-breaking lap.
Meanwhile, Marc Marquez put himself behind Quartararo to attack for the second time. The 59-time MotoGP winner needed to improve as personal preference followed his personal bests – and he did, moving to P3.
French fans cheered Quartararo’s best times in a sector, but he ended up falling 0.114s behind Bagnaia. On the other hand, Zarco set an all-time record in the last attempt with a time of 1:30.537 minutes. Veteran Pramac leads the MotoGP field after three practice sessions ahead of Bagnaia, Quartararo, Marc Márquez and Jack Miller.
MotoGP and Le Mans combined timings after FP3 (May 14):
1. Zarco, Ducati, 1: 30.537 min
2. Bagnaia, Ducati, +0.031 sec
3. Quartararo, Yamaha, +0.145
4. Marc Marquez, Honda +0.248
5- Ducati Miller +300
6. Alex Espargaro, Aprilia, +0.449
7. Nakagami – Honda +0.525
8. Rinz, Suzuki +0.550
9. Paul Espargaro, Honda +0.565
10- Bastianini, Ducati, +0.611.611.611
11. Martin, Ducati +0.614
12. Vinales, Aprilia +0.632
13. MIR, Suzuki +0.691
14- Marini, Ducati, +0.691
15. Brad Bender, KTM, +0.816
16. Besicchi, Ducati +0.866
17. Di Gianantonio, Ducati, +1.056
18. Oliveira, KTM, +1.162
19. Morbidley, Yamaha, +1179
20. Dovizioso, Yamaha, +1,310
21. Gardner, KTM, +1,350
22. Alex Marquez, Honda +1.465
23. Fernandez, KTM, +2.546.546.600
24. Darren Bender, Yamaha +2704
Timings of Moto3 and Le Mans combined after FP3 (May 14):
1. Fujia, Honda, 1:41,680 minutes
2. Guevara, GASGAS, +0.096 seconds
3. Suzuki, Honda +0.291
4. Tatay, CFMOTO +0.409
5. Macia, KTM, +0.433.433.00
6. Artigas, CFMOTO +0.439
7. Minio, Honda +0.480
8. Holgado, KTM +0.498.00
9. Yamanaka, KTM, +0.561.37
10. Garcia – Gas Gas +0.564,200,000
11. Sasaki, Husqvarna, +0.622
12. McPhee, Husqvarna, +0.647
13. Kelso, KTM +0.652
14. Moreira, KTM, +0.653
15. Rueda – Honda +0.733