Dani Pedrosa bounced back from a difficult day one at Mugello by recording fastest time in FP3 on Saturday morning, ahead of reigning MotoGP World Champion team-mate Marc Marquez.
Pedrosa began the morning in 11th place while Marquez remained at the head of the timesheets, and made minimal progress as the riders and teams rubbered the circuit back in following yesterday afternoon’s rain showers. In the last quarter of an hour qualifying preparation began in earnest as the riders bid to get themselves into the top ten and thus avoid running in Q1 and the risk of starting no higher than 12th.
Pedrosa produced his fastest lap seemingly from nowhere, after several attempts by Marquez to improve on his Friday team failed to deliver when he couldn’t gain time in the final sector. The older Spaniard posted a 1:47:754 that bettered his team-mates effort by a relatively large 0.261 seconds, while Ducati had something to celebrate when Andrea Dovizioso went 3rd fastest, only 0.002 down on Marquez.
Cal Crutchlow added even more joy for the Italian team as he progressed through to Q2 by default, recovering well despite his ongoing wrist injury. Jorge Lorenzo, Bradley Smith and Valentino Rossi also secured their places in Q2, with Pol Espargaro and Andrea Iannone sandwiching Stefan Bradl in 9th who crashed in the last minute of practice, thankfully without injury.
Alvaro Bautista and Aleix Espargaro were the two big casualty names forced to run in Q1 this afternoon after misjudging the rapidly changing situation and leaving the pitlane too late to improve their initial times.
Nicky Hayden will take no further part in the weekend as he recovers from illness, while Michel Fabrizio has been drafted in by Ioda to sub for the injured Danilo Petrucci.
CLASSIFICATION – FP3 – Mugello – 31st May 2014
Copyright – DORNA