World News – UA – European MotoGP: Zarco dominates wet FP3 as Rossi returns from COVID-19


Johann Zarco d’Avintia dominated a third wet practice for the MotoGP European Grand Prix, while Fabio Quartararo was 3rd 2 seconds behind and Valentino Rossi returned to action

The wet track meant no improvement in combined times, locking the Q1 riders in place based on Friday’s FP2 race

Quartararo moved up to Q2 after finishing ninth overall on Friday, but FP3 proved difficult for the Petronas SRT rider as he continued to struggle with a lack of up front feeling in wet conditions

Having finished last in FP1 and 2 wet7s behind, his fortunes did not improve as he again finished 19th in the session and 32s slower than Zarco

The Avintia rider took first place about six minutes after the start of the session with a 1m42985, and traded first place with Miguel Oliveira of Tech3 and Stefan Bradl of Honda in the opening stages

With half the session over, Oliveira on the Tech3 KTM sole this weekend came back to the top of the pack with a 1m41519s and improved it on her next tour with a 1m41352s

Zarco beat the Tech3 rider 15 minutes from time with a 1m41113, which served as a benchmark until the last stages where the Frenchman put his time under immense threat

The Avintia rider guided his GP19 at 1m40735s, before a final effort of 1m40007s consolidated his position at the top of the timesheets when the checkered flag came out

Maverick Vinales jumped second in the final stages on his factory Yamaha with a 1m40743, but missed the Q2 Cup in 11th place in combined times

However, that doesn’t matter to the Yamaha rider as an engine change, which exceeds his season allowance, on Friday means he will have to start Sunday’s race from the pit lane.

Takaaki Nakagami was Honda’s best rider in third place on the LCR RC213V, with Francesco Bagnaia fourth on the Pramac Ducati ahead of Cal Crutchlow’s sister bike LCR

Only Nakagami of this trio went straight into Q2, Oliveira sixth, and Alex Marquez’s original Honda also missing the Q2 cup

Rossi was eighth in his first appearance from Le Mans following a forced layoff due to COVID-19, but will face Q1 this afternoon after missing Friday’s race while awaiting the results of a PCR test

Alex Rins and Joan Mir’s Suzukis completed the FP3 top 10, both qualifying in Q2 due to their FP2 times – although the latter was fortunate enough to be elevated to 10th combined time after Crutchlow did his best tour canceled

Faster in the general classification in combined times, Jack Miller of Pramac was absent from FP3 to avoid any unnecessary risk of feeling strong in Friday’s conditions

He’ll go straight to Q2, as will Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), the KTM duo of Pol Espargaro and SRT’s Brad Binder and Franco Morbidelli – all outside the wet FP3 top 10

Motorcycle Grand Prix, Johann Zarco, Reale Avintia Racing, Ducati MotoGP manufacturer team, KTM MotoGP racing manufacturer team, Jack Miller, Pramac Racing, Valentino Rossi, Fabio Quartararo, Aleix Espargaró

World News – UA – European MotoGP: Zarco dominates wet FP3 as Rossi returns from COVID-19
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