MotoGP: Pedrosa pips Marquez to top in FP3

Repsol Honda are untouchable at COTA

Photo: Repsol Honda 

Dani Pedrosa continued Repsol Honda’s domination at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin on Saturday morning, just beating Marquez to the top of the timing sheets.

The 45 minute free practice session determines which 10 riders will automatically get a place in Q2, for the 15 minute shoot out for pole position.

Seven minutes into the session, rapid rookie Marquez had his first fall in MotoGP. He suffered a highside going into turn 19 but walked away seemingly unscathed. He went back out on track 8 minutes later with no change to his pace.

The Repsol Honda team mates were flying, both riders set 2.04 times the only two of the entire field to do sub 2.05 lap times.

With ten minutes to go reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo had a lucky save on the final turn and the Yamaha Factory Racing rider failed to improve his fourth position.

British rider Cal Crutchlow showed phenomenal pace, he sat in third position with 10 minutes of the session left, the first Yamaha on the timing sheets having never visited the circuit.

In the final three minutes of FP2 most riders were out on track, with the Yamahas trying to beat the Honda’s and Bradley Smith pushing to get his place secured in Q2.

2.067 seconds covered the top ten with just over a minute to go and riders began setting personal bests under the warm Texan sun.

Marquez looked to have this session stitched up with 30 seconds to go, but Spanish teammate Pedrosa snuck-up into first position, 0.387 seconds ahead, setting a time of 2.04.408.

Tech 3 rider Crutchlow was pipped to third position in the closing moments by factory rider Lorenzo but both riders are still almost a second off the Honda boys.

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso shot into sixth position on his final flying lap, one place ahead of fellow Italian Valentino Rossi.

Full timings of free practice three can be found here, as well as a full list of combined times.

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