Thu. Dec 2nd, 2021

Francesco Bagnaia broke the lap record at Ducati’s home circuit to compete a frantic end to FP3 ahead of qualifying for the Italian MotoGP Grand Prix at Mugello.

Fastest on Friday, Francesco Bagnaia continued his pace into FP3 to top the session with a new record aboard the Ducati at their home track in the Italian MotoGP FP3 session.

The Italian sits just one point behind championship leader Fabio Quartararo and is well placed to eye up his first win in the class after heading straight to Q2 thanks to his new record lap of 1m 45.456s, beating Marc Marquez’s old Mugello standard, set in 2019.

Quartararo was a constant at the top of the timesheets, with only his title rivals record pace able to displacing him, the Monster Yamaha rider a solid second, just 0.157s slower.

Winner of the last two rounds, Jack Miller, was down in thirteenth until the introduction of a soft front and rear tyre. The Australian immediately moved into the top ten, finishing fourth while sat in the pits, confident enough to sit out the last few laps of manic track action.

Johann Zarco used his final run to push his way up to fifth for Pramac Racing, having been stuck outside the top ten ias the chequered flag waved.

Suzuki are again on the new electronics package, seeing improved cornering at Mugello. Alex Rins was the best of thier riders in sixth with reigning champion also making Q2 automatically in eighth.

Pol Espargaro was the best of the factory Honda riders, holding on in the faster, cooler conditions to ninth.

Franco Morbidelli, underpowered in comparision to Binder’s new record speed on the 2019 Yamaha machinery, used every bit of his skill and track knowledge to hold on to a top ten slot and escape having to go through Q1.

Vinales was not as lucky – a late crash at turn 12, Ducati Corner, from his Monster Energy Yamaha saw him unable to reply as the final flurry of fast laps came in, pushing him down to eleventh.

The Spaniard was not the only big name to miss out on heading straight to the second qualifying session.

Marc Marquez continued to fight the uncomfortable feeling in his shoulder, having played down his chances of success in Italy, he continued to struggle with cornering and improved on his final lap, tucked in incredibly closely behind Bagnaia he moved up from 19th but only to 12th.

Aleix Espargaro, who had arm pump surgery between rounds, had his arm drained following pain on Friday, still affected he could only manage a time good enough for 13th in an incredibly tight session, but remained the top Aprillia rider.

Luca Marini was top rookie in FP3 in 16th for Sky VR46 Avintia Ducati.

Valentino Rossi chose this session for his Mugello helmet reveal, the cow emblazoned helmet added a touch of fun to another tough session for the Mugello fan favourite. After spending most of the session in last Rossi improved to 18th as the clock hit zero, and although his performance feels miles away from his series of Mugello victories, the Italian was less than a second off Bagnaia’s new record lap.

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