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Marquez storms clear in third practice

Marquez storms clear in third practice
By AutoSport

12/08/2017 at 11:47Updated 12/08/2017 at 11:59

MotoGP points leader Marc Marquez topped third practice for the Austrian Grand Prix by more than four tenths, while Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa failed to advance directly to Q2.

The session started with Yamaha's Valentino Rossi - who had struggled with illness on Friday and could only manage 12th in practices one and two - leading the early running.

Rossi opted to use Yamaha's new fairing in the session, which he first tested at Brno last Monday and was not expected to use at the Red Bull Ring.

Although Johann Zarco and then Marquez knocked Rossi off top spot at the halfway point, the Italian went quicker again and became the first rider to beat Andrea Dovizioso's Friday benchmark by going under the 1m24s barrier.

But Rossi was again trumped by Zarco and Marquez, with the Honda rider's eventual session-best of 1m23.459s putting him 0.423 seconds clear.

Behind Zarco, Suzuki's Andrea Iannone took third. Jorge Lorenzo was Ducati's lead representative in fourth, with Rossi ending the session in fifth ahead of Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales.

The 2015-spec Ducatis of Loris Baz (Avintia) and Aspar's Karel Abraham completed the top eight and will take part in Q2 as a result.

Cal Crutchlow fell at Turn 9 and ended the session ninth - and last of those to automatically progress to Q2.

Scott Redding was 10th, but will have to take part in the Q1 qualifying session as Dovizioso's fastest lap from FP2 was enough to put him through to Q2 despite finishing FP3 in 16th and the best part of a second off Marquez's time.

Pedrosa could only manage the 14th-fastest time in FP3 and like Redding will have to take part in the first part of qualifying.

Bradley Smith was the only rider apart from Crutchlow to crash during the session. The KTM rider falling at Turn 1 and finishing the session slowest of the 24 riders.

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