Factory Ducati man Danilo Petrucci broke the Mugello MotoGP outright lap record with a stunning 1:46.056 in an eventful session that leaves Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso having to negotiate Q1 in order to challenge for pole position.
With conditions absolutely perfect on Saturday morning it wasn’t long before Dovizioso had broke the MotoGP speed record, clicking up 356.7kph/221.6mph down the home straight, however, it was the Italian’s factory Ducati team-mate who put it together.
After impressive runs by Taka Nakagami and Fabio Quartararo, Petrucci hooked it all up with a stunning lap to not only top the session, but also beat Rossi’s previous outright lap record.
Pol Espargaro continued his good form to end second fastest, just over two-tenths behind Petrucci as the factory KTM man continues to impress in 2019.
Marc Marquez was third, but it wasn’t plain sailing for the World Champion. Sitting in ninth with a little over 90 seconds remaining, the Spaniard was in serious danger of being punted out of the top ten. Despite still not feeling 100 percent and being visibly angered by being held up by Joan Mir, Marquez did what Marquez does and produced when it mattered to safely secure his passage into Q2.
Nakagami was fourth on his LCR Honda with a really strong run in the middle of the session, just ahead of Jack Miller on the Pramac Ducati. Quartararo was a hundredth back from the Aussie in sixth on his satellite Yamaha.
Maverick Vinales saved himself from any unnecessary drama by finishing seventh. Cal Crutchlow was eighth and had to brush off a late crash as he prepares for qualifying. VR46 academy boys Franco Morbidelli and Pecco Bagnaia were ninth and tenth.
Dovizioso was eleventh and will use this session to further back up his point that he cannot ride the GP19 as he wishes, ending 0.686 seconds behind his team-mates record braking pace. Lorenzo was a further tenth and a half back from his factory Ducati replacement, with the 2018 winner needing to use some Mugello magic of his own to turn his weekend around.
Rossi will be kicking himself inside the Monster Energy Factory Yamaha garage after a mistake on the final corner prevented him from moving into the top ten in the closing seconds of FP3. On pace to move into the top six, ‘the Doctor’ missed his braking point in the final corner, running into the gravel and costing him a spot directly into Q2.
Michele Pirro won’t make life easy for the big names in Q1, ending fourteenth, just ahead of Tito Raba and Aleix Espargaro. It was another awful start to Saturday for Alex Rins who needs to sort his qualifying out before he can consider challenging further up the field.
Karel Abraham was eighteenth, just ahead of Joan Mir and Johann Zarco. Hometown hero Andrea Iannone was 21st with the Tech3 KTM duo of Miguel Oliveria and Hafizh Syahrin rounding out the finishers.