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Portuguese MotoGP: Quartararo tops red-flagged FP3 after Jorge Martin crash
Portuguese MotoGP: Quartararo tops red-flagged FP3 after Jorge Martin crash avatar

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It’s unclear what happened in the crash, but Martin was on an out-lap when he went down at Turn 7 and was violently thrown through the gravel.

He has been taken to the medical centre for checks and was declared conscious, though had to be stretchered off the track.

Despite most heading out on medium rubber for the start of FP3, several improvements on the combined order came immediately.

KTM’s Miguel Oliveira – who is unhappy with the front tyre allocation this weekend – found a tenth on his FP2 best lap to leap up into the top 10 while Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli moved to ninth ahead of Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro.

Morbidelli got into a minor scrape with Takaaki Nakagami early in FP3, the Italian making slight contact with the LCR rider up at the Turn 11 Portimao corner having caught him cruising on the racing line.

Nakagami had to go to the medical centre midway through FP3 for painkilling injections in the shoulder he hurt in his terrifying high-speed crash at Turn 1 in FP2, but returned to action in the closing stages.

World championship leader Johann Zarco set the pace on the individual timesheets after 10 minutes with a 1m40.008s, which put him second overall.

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

This stood as the best time of the morning until Espargaro on the Aprilia bested Francesco Bagnaia’s best time from Friday with a 1m39.690s with 20 minutes to go on a fresh soft slick.

Espargaro’s reign was ended by Jack Miller on the factory Ducati, who moved clear with a 1m39.345s seven minutes later as the rest of the field took to the track to begin their quests for a direct Q2 place.

Quartararo spread the field further with his first time attack lap in the closing stages having spent much of FP3 working on used tyre pace with the medium compound.

The Yamaha rider’s first soft tyre effort with just under 10 minutes to go put him top of the pile as he produced a 1m39.044s.

Morbidelli cut his former team-mate’s advantage to just 0.051s moments later, before the session was halted with 4m11s remaining after a big crash for Pramac rookie Martin.

When the session got back underway at 10:48am local time, almost the entire field exited pitlane together to try and secure a place in Q2.

Quartararo’s 1m39.044s came unchallenged at the end, with the Frenchman leading Morbidelli and a late improver in Bagnaia in third.

Zarco leaped up to fourth on his Pramac Ducati late on ahead of Suzuki’s Alex Rins, with Jack Miller ensuring both factory Ducati riders have gone straight into Q2.

Avintia rookie Luca Marini will make his first Q2 appearance in MotoGP after ending FP3 an impressive seventh ahead of Aleix Espargaro, Oliveira and Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales.

A late crash at Turn 3 for Alex Marquez stopped him from advancing into Q2, leaving the Spaniard 11th and in a volatile Q1 group.

World champion Joan Mir could only muster 12th on his Suzuki ahead of Honda’s Pol Espargaro, SRT’s Valentino Rossi and the returning Marc Marquez on the sister works Honda.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marquez made a mistake on his penultimate flying lap and couldn’t improve on his final effort, leaving him facing Q1.
Qualifying gets underway at 2:10pm local time.

MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix – FP3 results

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