Dovizioso tops shortened Thailand MotoGP FP3 after rain delay

Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso topped a rain-delayed and shortened third practice ahead of the Thailand Grand Prix at Buriram.

A last-gasp lap on slicks on a rapidly trying track left Dovizioso over eight tenths clear of his nearest rival, Petronas SRT Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli.

Torrential rain in the morning meant the session was postponed by more than an hour, and there was a further delay after the Moto3 practice as track workers got to clearing standing water from several corners of the circuit.

As a result, the MotoGP session was reduced by 10 minutes from the original 45-minute runtime.

Championship leader Marc Marquez, who needs to outscore Dovizioso by just two points this weekend to become 2019 champion, took an initial lead of nearly three seconds with his first flying lap as FP3 kicked off.

But the other riders swiftly closed the gap to the Honda man, and with 20 minutes left on the clock Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci jumped ahead on a 1m41.750s.

Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales found an extra seven tenths shortly thereafter, and with the sun emerging from behind the clouds a few minutes later the laptimes began to drop at a faster rate.

The likes of Alex Rins (Suzuki), Miguel Oliveira (Tech 3 KTM) and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas SRT Yamaha) took turns leading the proceedings, before Marquez went over a second clear with a 1m38.864s.

Marquez then aborted what looked an even faster lap next time by, pulling into the pits to end his session three minutes early.

By then, however, several riders had equipped slicks, and the track got dry enough for Morbidelli to retake the top spot just before the chequered flag flew.

He improved with his next attempt, but Dovizioso was quicker yet, securing FP3 honours with a final 1m36.250s effort that was still nearly six seconds off SRT rookie Fabio Quartararo’s best time from Friday.

Morbidelli and Rins made up the top three, while Marquez’s time wound up good enough for fourth place, with Vinales just 0.085s behind having elected against slick tyres in the end.

Karel Abraham used slicks to launch his Avintia-run Ducati into sixth place, ahead of Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Joan Mir (Suzuki), Quartararo and Oliveira.

Valentino Rossi was 11th in the other works Yamaha, having just run out of time to do a representative lap on slicks late on.

The weather conditions have meant the combined practice classification is unchanged from Friday, meaning Petrucci – who finished FP3 in 19th – and Crutchlow are among those who will have to fight their way through Q1 later on Saturday.

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap Laps
1 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m36.250s 13
2 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 1m37.074s 0.824s 16
3 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 1m37.644s 1.394s 14
4 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m38.864s 2.614s 13
5 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 1m38.949s 2.699s 14
6 Karel Abraham Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m39.057s 2.807s 14
7 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 1m39.502s 3.252s 14
8 Joan Mir Suzuki Suzuki 1m39.926s 3.676s 14
9 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 1m40.019s 3.769s 14
10 Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM KTM 1m40.152s 3.902s 14
11 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m40.232s 3.982s 16
12 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m40.289s 4.039s 12
13 Mika Kallio KTM KTM 1m40.389s 4.139s 13
14 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 1m40.463s 4.213s 16
15 Jorge Lorenzo Honda Honda 1m40.886s 4.636s 13
16 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m41.251s 5.001s 15
17 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m41.351s 5.101s 16
18 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 KTM KTM 1m41.409s 5.159s 14
19 Danilo Petrucci Ducati Ducati 1m41.570s 5.320s 9
20 Andrea Iannone Aprilia Aprilia 1m42.301s 6.051s 8
21 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 1m42.559s 6.309s 10
Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 1m45.425s 9.175s 5

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