Morbidelli tops Aragon FP3, Quartararo hurt in big crash - The Race

Morbidelli tops Aragon FP3, Quartararo hurt in big crash

Oct 17 2020
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Franco Morbidelli topped the Saturday morning MotoGP practice at Motorland Aragon, as championship leader Fabio Quartararo was stretchered off after a painful crash.

Quartararo’s Yamaha was unsettled on the outside kerb out of Turn 13 and he was spat off his bike in a violent highside approaching the Turn 14 right-hander.

He was awake upon coming to a halt in the run-off, but gripped his left shoulder as he remained on the ground and had to be stretchered off the crash site.

The Frenchman, who had banged up his hip in a crash earlier this weekend, was taken to the circuit medical centre for a check-up.

The session had been pushed back by half an hour initially and then an additional 30 minutes so as to avoid an overly cold track surface, although it is believed riders were keen on it to start even later still.

The initial pace set by Quartararo was well over a second slower than what Maverick Vinales had managed on Friday, but Takaaki Nakagami edged closer by lowering the FP3 benchmark to 1m48.374s shortly after the halfway point.

Nakagami’s lap was an improvement on his own personal best from Friday, proving that the combined classification top 10 was not set in stone after Friday and encouraging riders to push for an improved laptime.

And Quartararo’s subsequent crash did little to discourage them, with team-mate Morbidelli taking over the top spot with a 1m47.859s with just over three minutes left on the clock.

LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow shored up his Q2 spot by taking second behind Morbidelli, albeit half a second off, with KTM’s Pol Espargaro 0.005s off the pace and Suzuki’s Joan Mir – Quartararo’s closest rival in the standings – a further 0.003s down.

Honda rookie Alex Marquez improved upon his Friday time to ensure his first-ever Q2 appearance, ahead of Honda stablemate Takaaki Nakagami, Suzuki rider Alex Rins and Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro.

The two KTMs of Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder completed the top 10 in FP3 but will have to battle through Q1 as Vinales’ and Quartararo’s Friday times proved sufficient to secure them automatic Q2 spots.

Having been outside the combined classification top 10 after Friday’s running, all six Ducatis will indeed contest Q1.

This was despite Pramac rider Jack Miller seemingly setting a time good enough for Q2, only to have it chalked off due to yellow flags for Quartararo’s crash.

Ducati’s leading championship contender Andrea Dovizioso was only 11th in the session, having crashed early on at Turn 6.

Practice 3 Results

Pos Name Team Bike Gap Next Gap Leader Best Time
1 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1m47.859s
2 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda +0.455s +0.455s 1m48.314s
3 Pol Espargaró Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.005s +0.46s 1m48.319s
4 Joan Mir Team Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki +0.003s +0.463s 1m48.322s
5 Alex Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.081s +0.544s 1m48.403s
6 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda +0.003s +0.547s 1m48.406s
7 Alex Rins Team Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki +0.227s +0.774s 1m48.633s
8 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.02s +0.794s 1m48.653s
9 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +0.101s +0.895s 1m48.754s
10 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.083s +0.978s 1m48.837s
11 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team Ducati +0.063s +1.041s 1m48.9s
12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +0.012s +1.053s 1m48.912s
13 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Racing Ducati +0.041s +1.094s 1m48.953s
14 Danilo Petrucci Ducati Team Ducati +0.121s +1.215s 1m49.074s
15 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.032s +1.247s 1m49.106s
16 Iker Lecuona Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +0.097s +1.344s 1m49.203s
17 Stefan Bradl Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.041s +1.385s 1m49.244s
18 Tito Rabat Avintia Racing Ducati +0.039s +1.424s 1m49.283s
19 Bradley Smith Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.085s +1.509s 1m49.368s
20 Jack Miller Pramac Racing Ducati +0.201s +1.71s 1m49.569s
21 Johann Zarco Avintia Racing Ducati +0.341s +2.051s 1m49.91s

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