Practice report

Silverstone MotoGP: Espargaro edges out Martin by 0.028s in FP3

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro led the final 45-minute practice for the MotoGP British Grand Prix as he edged ahead of Pramac Ducati rider Jorge Martin by 0.028 seconds.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Cooler conditions on Saturday morning meant lap time gains on the overall combined order were few and far between for the first half of the session.

Espargaro would be the first major improver on the combined standings as the session neared its end and would remain fastest of all heading into qualifying with a 1m58.254s come the chequered flag.

Only Tech 3 KTM rookie Raul Fernandez after 15 minutes of running had found time on his Friday best, albeit remaining in 23rd as Johann Zarco on the Pramac Ducati led the individual timesheet with a 1m59.476s.

It wouldn’t be until the final 16 minutes of the session when some serious attacks on Fabio Quartararo’s best effort from Friday were made.

Aprilia’s Espargaro toppled Quartararo’s 1m58.946s with a 1m58.695s on his first time attack run on fresh soft Michelin rubber.

He was immediately bettered by teammate Maverick Vinales, who fired in a 1m58.599s, before Espargaro on his second effort came within touching distance of the all-time Silverstone lap record with a 1m58.254s to return to the top of the order.

Ducati’s Jack Miller split the Aprilia pair as the session entered into its final 11 minutes with a 1m58.332s, as Quartararo – who continued to practice the long lap penalty loop in FP3 – sat fourth.

With just 10 minutes to go, all inside the top 10 apart from ninth-placed Alex Rins had found time on their Friday best laps as they made their bids to go directly into the pole shootout session in qualifying later this afternoon.

Espargaro failed to make any further gains on his 1m58.254s lap as the clock counted down, though did catch the ire of Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia at Village corner in the closing stages after the latter felt he’d been disturbed on his flying lap.

But on the cooldown lap after the chequered flag, the pair embraced and put the matter to rest.

Pramac’s Martin threatened Espargaro’s time on his final flying lap at the end of the session, but came up just short with a 1m58.282s to safely see himself into Q2 later this afternoon.

Martin was forced to park up on his way back to pitlane after the chequered flag as his Ducati cut out. It’s not yet clear if this was a mechanical issue or simply he ran out of fuel.

Miller completed the top three on his factory team Ducati ahead of Zarco, who crashed late on at Village corner when he lost the front-end of his GP22 under braking.

Vinales rounded out the top five on his Aprilia, with championship leader Quartararo sixth in the end ahead of Bagnaia and Suzuki’s Joan Mir.

Luca Marini bagged a direct Q2 place on his VR46 Ducati in ninth ahead of the second Suzuki of Alex Rins, with Marco Bezzecchi dropping into Q1 having missed the cut by just 0.182s.

He will be joined in Q1 in qualifying by Gresini’s Enea Bastianini, who could only managed 12th at the end of FP3 ahead of Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli.

All four KTM riders will have to go through the first qualifying segment as well later today, along with all of the Honda runners and the RNF duo of the retiring Andrea Dovizioso and rookie Darryn Binder.

Qualifying for the 2022 MotoGP British Grand Prix will get underway at 2:10pm local time.

Silverstone MotoGP - FP3 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 1'58.254
2 89 Spain Jorge Martin
Ducati 1'58.282 0.028
3 43 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati 1'58.332 0.078
4 5 France Johann Zarco
Ducati 1'58.344 0.090
5 12 Spain Maverick Viñales
Aprilia 1'58.575 0.321
6 20 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 1'58.619 0.365
7 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 1'58.625 0.371
8 36 Spain Joan Mir
Suzuki 1'58.657 0.403
9 10 Italy Luca Marini
Ducati 1'58.663 0.409
10 42 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 1'58.729 0.475
11 72 Italy Marco Bezzecchi
Ducati 1'58.911 0.657
12 23 Italy Enea Bastianini
Ducati 1'58.927 0.673
13 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 1'59.006 0.752
14 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira
KTM 1'59.066 0.812
15 73 Spain Alex Marquez
Honda 1'59.110 0.856
16 44 Spain Pol Espargaro
Honda 1'59.225 0.971
17 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
Yamaha 1'59.240 0.986
18 49 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio
Ducati 1'59.485 1.231
19 33 South Africa Brad Binder
KTM 1'59.531 1.277
20 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami
Honda 1'59.623 1.369
21 87 Australia Remy Gardner
KTM 1'59.649 1.395
22 6 Germany Stefan Bradl
Honda 1'59.815 1.561
23 25 Spain Raúl Fernández
KTM 2'00.065 1.811
24 40 South Africa Darryn Binder
Yamaha 2'00.639 2.385
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