Motegi MotoGP: Marquez fastest as Lorenzo crashes hard

Honda's Marc Marquez set the fastest time in third practice for the Japanese MotoGP at Motegi, but reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo’s huge crash was the headline of the session.

Motegi MotoGP: Marquez fastest as Lorenzo crashes hard
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Danilo Petrucci, Pramac Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Hector Barbera, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Hector Barbera, Ducati Team
Aleix Espargaro, Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP

Yamaha's Lorenzo was just squeezing the throttle through Turn 2 at relatively slow speed, but his bike suddenly gripped up and high-sided massively – hurling him high into the air and slamming him down on his back in ugly fashion.

After a trip to the medical centre, Lorenzo was taken to hospital via helicopter for further tests. 

Story of the session

Lorenzo had set the early pace on 1m45.151s, 0.053s up on Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso. Marquez had a big moment under braking early on and was fourth fastest, but then jumped to P1 on 1m45.073s having latched on to the back of Hector Barbera, who is riding the injured Andrea Iannone’s works Ducati while still wearing his Avintia leathers.

Marquez lowered his P1 time to 1m44.987s, 0.164s ahead of Lorenzo. LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow improved to 1m45.026s to grab the second-fastest time, just 0.039s in arrears. Dovizioso also improved late on to grab third on 1m45.057s from Barbera's very tidy 1m45.120s.

Lorenzo ended the session fifth, but crashed heavily on his final run in the first sector, the Spaniard lying flat-out on the ground and clutching his left leg before getting to his feet.

He then stumbled over, and rolled on to a stretcher. After he regained his senses, he was back on his feet and talking to marshals but arrived at the medical centre clearly limping and also concerned about his left arm.

Aleix Espargaro was sixth for Suzuki, ahead of teammate Maverick Vinales.

Valentino Rossi was only eighth fastest, ahead of Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro and Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci – who all go through automatically to Q2.

Pramac's Scott Redding just missed out on that by 0.01s, with Stefan Bradl the leading Aprilia rider.

Multiple crashes

Jack Miller fell from his Marc VDS Honda at Turn 7 after 5 minutes, and would crash again later in the session at Turn 9. Danilo Petrucci also went down on his Pramac Ducati.

Katsuyuki Nakasuga shunted his Yamaha at Turn 10, and Aprilia’s Alvaro Bautista crashed out at Turn 3.

Aspar’s Eugene Laverty sat out the session following his huge FP2 high-side.

Japanese GP FP3

PosDriverBikeTimeGap
1   Marc Marquez  Honda 1'44.987  
2   Cal Crutchlow  Honda 1'45.026 0.039
3   Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati 1'45.057 0.070
4   Hector Barbera  Ducati 1'45.120 0.133
5   Aleix Espargaro  Suzuki 1'45.155 0.168
6   Maverick Viñales  Suzuki 1'45.284 0.297
7   Valentino Rossi  Yamaha 1'45.417 0.430
8   Pol Espargaro  Yamaha 1'45.680 0.693
9   Jorge Lorenzo  Yamaha 1'45.794 0.807
10   Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 1'45.844 0.857
11   Scott Redding  Ducati 1'45.854 0.867
12   Stefan Bradl  Aprilia 1'46.012 1.025
13   Yonny Hernandez  Ducati 1'46.236 1.249
14   Katsuyuki Nakasuga  Yamaha 1'46.807 1.820
15   Alvaro Bautista  Aprilia 1'46.962 1.975
16   Tito Rabat  Honda 1'47.327 2.340
17   Hiroshi Aoyama  Honda  1'47.522 2.535
18   Bradley Smith  Yamaha 1'47.556 2.569
19   Jack Miller  Honda 1'48.184 3.197
20   Loris Baz  Ducati 1'48.283 3.296
21   Mike Jones  Ducati 1'49.071 4.084
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About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Japanese GP
Location Twin Ring Motegi
Author Charles Bradley
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