The only rider under 2’03, Jack Miller dominated Austin’s third MotoGP free practice session with a stunning lead over his rivals. The French Johann Zarco (5th) and Fabio Quartararo (6th) go directly to Q2.
Prankster Andrea Dovizioso said his motocross training was going to come in handy on the bumpy Austin track. But another rider is particularly skilled in MX, and puts his skills to good use this weekend: Jack Miller. The only rider capable of following Marc Marquez during the first two sessions on Friday, he took the lead of the MotoGP peloton on Saturday.
Leader of FP3, the Australian hit hard, sticking almost 7 tenths to his first pursuer, Takaaki Nakagami. The Japanese also impressed, taking the ranks of best satellite and Honda rider at the same time. The HRC achieves a nice blow by sending three of its men directly in Q2, since Marc Marquez (4th) and Pol Espargaro (7th) are in the top-10. The only absent is Alex Marquez (19th), fallen and relegated to 2.6 seconds.
New dad for a few days, Alex Rins (3rd) carries the name of his son Lucas, added to his suit just before the Grand Prix of the Americas. But if it shines, the Suzuki clan cannot be entirely satisfied with the session, since Joan Mir (13th) is pushed back in Q1. The reigning world champion says he’s having a hard time finding the right settings with the bumps on the track.
Second Ducatist behind the elusive Jack Miller, Johann Zarco (5th) continues his good weekend, ten days after his compartment syndrome surgery. His compatriot Fabio Quartararo (6th) follows him 44 thousandths behind, ensuring his presence in Q2 without worry. His runner-up Francesco Bagnaia (9th) will also be there, as will the rookie Jorge Martin (10th). At Red Bull KTM, Brad Binder (8th) fulfilled his contract but Miguel Oliveira (11th) narrowly missed it, and finds himself in the repechage for 63 thousandths.
The Portuguese will have a lot to do to get by, because he will face the rookie Enea Bastianini (12th), Joan Mir (13th) but also the Yamaha of Franco Morbidelli (14th) and why not Valentino Rossi (15th), more competitive here than in Misano two weeks earlier. We will also have to keep an eye on Aleix Espargaro (20th), even if the Aprilia rider’s Grand Prix is turning into a nightmare. He suffered another fall on Saturday, and is one of those who would prefer not to ride here for safety reasons.
Austin, GP of the Americas – Combined MotoGP free practice (top 10 directly in Q2):
Current MotoGP Championship: 1. Fabio Quartararo 234 pts, 2. Francesco Bagnaia 186 (-48), 3. Joan Mir 167 (-67), 4. Johann Zarco 141 (-93), 5. Jack Miller 140 (-94) …
✪ GP-Inside will continue to keep you informed thanks to you, subscribers! Support us for 2 € / month (25 € / year), access all advantages (all content, giveaway, etc.), strengthen independence of our small team (100% without advertising in Premium) and participate in the success of a motorcycle media at your service. Thank you ! Devenir Premium
Austin, Moto3 (FP3): Masia in front, Fellon in Q1