Andrea Dovizioso leads shortened damp Thai MotoGP FP3
Andrea Dovizioso led a shortened MotoGP FP3 session for Ducati at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand following a rain delay, braving a late run on slicks in the closing stages.
The session got underway after a lengthy 85 minute delay due to sub-par weather conditions as heavy rain hit the region.
The weather eventually cleared sufficiently for preceding Moto3 practice session to run, with the third premier class practice reduced from 45 to 35 minutes to make up for some of the delay.
Most riders ventured out on the medium compound wet tyres due to the still damp circuit, with Marc Marquez immediately shooting to the top of the times as he posted a 1:42.011.
He quickly lowered the benchmark to a 1:41.835 on his next tour, but despite several fastest sectors eventually slipped to fifth as others found more time on the continually improving track surface.
Times continued to tumble throughout the remainder of the session, and with the circuit drying surprisingly quickly, slicks became the superior option as the clock quickly ticked to zero.
Andra Iannone was the first man to attempt dry tyres, but quickly abandoned his run. Alex Rins persisted on his own set of soft slicks, eventually heating them up sufficiently to post the second fastest time.
Other riders including Dovizioso and Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli had also made the change by this point, with the Italian’s looking good to shoot to the top of the times on their final efforts of the session.
Morbidelli duly set a 1:37.074 to head to the top of the timesheets, although this was shortlived as Dovizioso quickly lowered the benchmark by over eight-tenths to post a 1:36.250.
No-one else would improve beyond this point, leaving Dovizioso to bank the fastest time in FP3 ahead of Morbidelli and Rins.
Marquez was the fastest of the wet tyre runners in fourth position having set a new personal best of 1:38.864 shortly before the slick runners began to improve, while Maverick Vinales rounded out the top five.
Karel Abraham was an impressive sixth fastest for Avintia as he also took advantage of slicks near the end, with LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow managing the seventh quickest time.
Joan Mir was eighth on his Suzuki GSX-RR ahead of Fabio Quartararo, while Miguel Oliveira managed the KTM RC16’s best lap of the session to complete the top ten for the Tech 3 squad.
Several riders failed to improve their times in the bettering conditions late on, most notably Valentino Rossi and Jack Miller who slipped to 11th and 12th by the flag, although Jorge Lorenzo displayed improved form as he managed the 15th fastest time.
Due to the track conditions being worse than FP2 yesterday, the top ten riders overnight will head direct to Q2 once qualifying gets going later on today.
Thailand - Practice 3