MotoGP Misano: Miller drives Ducati challenge in FP3

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Ducati Lenovo’s Jack Miller headed a one-two for the factory team in Saturday’s FP3 at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

Pecco Bagnaia circulated just 0.071s behind his teammate as the 45-minute practice concluded with Gresini’s Enea Bastianini completing the Bologna trio thanks to his Friday best.

Ducati was back in command as FP3 began on Saturday morning. Bagnaia leading Mooney VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi and Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio before Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo split the pack of Desmosedicis in third. Next time around the Bologna domination was up to five as Friday hero Bastianini and teammate Di Giannantonio sat second and third from an ever-improving Bagnaia with Bezzecchi and test rider Michele Pirro completing the pattern.

Quartararo and Red Bull KTM’s Miguel Oliveira were the first challengers from sixth and eighth respectively as Jack Miller joined the fun on the second Lenovo GP22. Times still well over half a second shy of Friday’s best and half an hour left on the clock as Tech3’s Remy Gardner became the first faller, at turn 14.

The threat of rain began to make its presence felt as the final quarter of an hour began. Yamaha duo Quartararo and Franky Morbidelli launching to the top of the times, albeit three-tenths apart, as they claimed third and eighth respectively in the combined efforts. Bezzecchi the gatekeeper to promotion before he too improved, to eighth, with a 1’31.999.

Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins reignited his promotion chances with a shot at tenth, Pramac’s Jorge Martin demoted out of the danger zone as Diggia crashed out at turn six.

Miller was on a charge as the factory Ducati pairing took over overall, the Australian leading his teammate with a 1’31.297 before Bagnaia’s time was deleted and he dropped back to third. Pol Espargaro advancing the Repsol Honda into contention with his own turn in tenth.

The final five minutes fired up with Espargaro down at turn 15 with yellow flags out in the final sector. Bagnaia the first to improve as he returned to second, 0.075s shy of his teammate, before falling agonisingly short of bettering outright next time around.

Oliveira suffered a turn four crash in the final minute as he sat in the danger zone. Morbidelli and Espargaro eliminated from the top ten after moves from Rins and the KTM man with Martin the next to improve. The Prima Pramac in turn denying a last minute launch from the number 21 with Bezzecchi claiming the final promotion place on identical pace to his fellow VR46 Academy training partner. The rookie’s lap time later deleted due to yellow flags after Takaaki Nakagami crashed out in the final seconds with Morbidelli granted a reprieve into Q2 - for the first time since Mandalika - with Martin likewise demoted after the flag.

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