Marc Marquez led the way at the end of third practice for the French Grand Prix at Le Mans with a late flyer to head Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori.
Marquez was able to achieve his session heading effort of 1:40.736s with a late series of time attacks as the clocked ticked down on the session, the track conditions ever improving throughout.
A rain shower just after the preceding Moto3 session coated the Le Mans circuit in another layer of water, meaning slicks were a no-go for the entirety of the 45 minute test-also meaning the top ten riders from FP2 will all progress directly to Q2 in qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
Jack Miller led the way early on with a 1:43.857s, though crashed soon after posting that particular gambit as he looked to shave off even further time-the Aussie going down at the downhill right-hander of Turn 6.
KTM’s Miguel Oliveira was the next to takeover at the top, the Portuguese racer shadowed by Savadori as the Italian seemed to gel better with his RS-GP in the wetter conditions relative to his usual lower leaderboard struggles in conventional dry running.
Marquez though looked keen to leave his mark with a late pair of laps in the dying seconds to fire in a lap 0.613s faster than anyone else, the six-time premier class champion looking commanding at the head of the field leading into Saturday afternoon running.
Savadori did well to hold second after initially looking on to secure a first ever fastest session time, the ex-World Superbike man lapping just over a tenth clear of points leader Francesco Bagnaia’s Ducati.
Oliveira completed the session fourth ahead of the second factory Honda of Pol Espagraro, the RC213-V seemingly enjoying the damp French tarmac this weekend, while Johann Zarco was sixth for Pramac.
Suzuki pairing Joan Mir and Alex Rins followed next in seventh and eighth respectively ahead of Tech 3 KTM’s Iker Lecuona-the Andorran becoming the latest rider to fall victim to Turn 3 in the process-with Avintia’s Luca Marini completing the top ten.
Much as we saw last season Yamaha continued to look slightly off the pace as things got slippy, Maverick Vinales ending up as the fastest M1 pilot down in 16th ahead of Franco Morbidelli, with Fabio Quartararo 19th and Valentino Rossi 21st.
Miller was shuffled back to 20th in the end as he elected to not head back out for a fast time following his earlier off, though the Spanish GP victor will progress straight to the pole shootout courtesy of his best FP2 effort alongside FP3 leader Marc.
The Yamaha quartet also did enough in the dry FP2 outing to secure Q2 berths alongside Oliveira, Pol, Zarco as well as LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami who ended FP3 in 12th just behind team-mate Alex Marquez.