MotoGP Germany: Bagnaia bosses FP3 with 1’19 pace

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Pecco Bagnaia continued to set the pace and break MotoGP records on his Ducati Lenovo at the Sachsenring on Saturday with a 1’19.765 in FP3.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro and Bologna teammate Jack Miller just a tenth adrift of the Italian’s new all-time circuit record in the top three with Prima Pramac locking out the fastest five all under 1’20 pace.

Bagnaia was straight up to speed and dominating the times with a 1’20.690 as FP3 fired up. Miguel Oliveira’s KTM splitting the factory Ducati riders in second as Miller sat third, a tenth behind the session best and over half a second off Friday’s target.

A hard-charging Marco Bezzecchi suffered an early spill at turn 12 on his Mooney VR46 machine from sixth in the times with Espargaro and Fabio Quartararo switching places ahead in the top five.

Maverick Viñales advanced the Aprilia to fourth, a quarter of a second down on the Ducati before he bettered, to third, next time around. Prima Pramac’s Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin rounding out the top ten ahead of Suzuki’s Joan Mir with Franky Morbidelli narrowly adrift on the second Monster Energy Yamaha.

Brad Binder boosted the KTM to fifth at the halfway stage with times still down on Friday’s combined standings. Oliveira the first to have improved, from 14th. The Portuguese rider continued his climb with 20 minutes to go, a 1’20.554 claiming outright control of the session and the gateway to promotion in tenth overall.

The Aprilia dominance continued as Viñales advanced again to third before Espargaro set two consecutive laps under Bagnaia’s lap record. The Spaniard denied a 1’19 by just 0.007s after finding Morbidelli on track. Quartararo close to matching the RS-GP with a 1’20.038 as the top three overall were covered by a mere 0.03s.

The times however, continued to tumble as both Bagnaia then Martin bettered with two consecutive 1’19 laps. The Italian topping the times thanks to a 1’19.833 before he outclassed himself next time around with a 1’19.765.

Mir put himself in the shop window in fifth, 0.333s off the record pace before running in hot and crossing the gravel. Oliveira dropped into the danger zone with Vinales facing a Q1 fight once again with five minutes left on the clock.

Miller was the first to strike in the closing stages on his way to second, Espargaro denying him by 0.044s as Quartararo ramped up the M1. Viñales promoting himself to ninth as both LCR’s of Alex Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami crashed and Quartararo’s visor came loose, halting his progress.

Mooney VR46’s Luca Marini failed to improve on his Friday effort but survived promotion in eighth as the chequered flag dropped, Nakagami and Viñales doing likewise in ninth and tenth with Oliveira the first to face Q1 alongside teammate Binder, the injured Alex Rins and Pol Espargaro.

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