Nakagami tops third Jerez practice, Marquez in big crash - The Race
MotoGP

Nakagami tops third Jerez practice, Marquez in big crash

May 1 2021
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Takaaki Nakagami topped the third MotoGP practice session at Jerez, as returning six-time champion Marc Marquez suffered a fast crash.

Marquez fell at the Turn 7 left-hander while pushing for an automatic Q2 spot in the dying seconds of FP3, both he and his RC213V bike striking against the air fence at the exit of the corner.

The Honda man was winded but seemingly avoided major injury, walking away from the site of the crash and swiftly returning to his garage. With his right arm an obvious area of concern, he then seemingly headed off to the circuit’s medical centre.

Marc Marquez Honda Jerez MotoGP

A number of riders had improved on their Friday times right away in FP3, with Aprilia standout Aleix Espargaro among them and taking an early lead as a result.

But he’d been usurped by Franco Morbidelli by the time the usual soft-tyre bids for an automatic Q2 spot began, and it was only then that Francesco Bagnaia’s Friday benchmark fell, courtesy of a 1m37.010s lap by Fabio Quartararo.

With three minutes left on the clock, Morbidelli reclaimed the top spot with an emphatic 1m36.684s, which was then chalked off for track limits – meaning it was Nakagami who recorded the first legal sub-1m37s of the weekend a few seconds later.

Quartararo tried to reclaim the top spot for Yamaha as the chequered flag flew, but came up 0.025s short, while wildcard rider Stefan Bradl made it two Hondas in the top three.

Reigning champion Joan Mir was fourth for Suzuki, recording his first automatic Q2 passage of the season, while Espargaro completed the top five for Aprilia.

Maverick Vinales and Morbidelli wound up with identical laptimes for sixth and seventh respectively, and were both just 0.098s off Nakagami’s time.

Friday pace-setter Bagnaia was comfortably within the combined practice top 10 for most of the session, but was suddenly facing a Q1 appearance in the end, and had to bail out of a late fast lap due to yellow flags for Marquez’s crash.

However, he managed to start another attempt seconds before the chequered flag fell, and moved up to eighth place, ahead of fellow Ducati rider Johann Zarco and the second Suzuki of Alex Rins.

Francesco Bagnaia MotoGP Ducati Jerez

Bagnaia’s improvement means his factory Ducati team-mate Jack Miller will contest Q1 instead, having missed out on the top 10 by 0.010s.

Among those joining Miller in Q1 will be Marquez, the other factory Honda of Pol Espargaro (who is continuing to struggle for one-lap pace), the two factory KTMs and Valentino Rossi – who had an improved showing but was still only 15th.

Practice 3 Results

Pos Name Team Bike Gap Next Gap Leader Best Time
1 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1m36.985s
2 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +0.025s +0.025s 1m37.01s
3 Stefan Bradl Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.016s +0.041s 1m37.026s
4 Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.01s +0.051s 1m37.036s
5 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.013s +0.064s 1m37.049s
6 Maverick Viñales Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +0.034s +0.098s 1m37.083s
7 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0s +0.098s 1m37.083s
8 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +0.053s +0.151s 1m37.136s
9 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati +0.021s +0.172s 1m37.157s
10 Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.021s +0.193s 1m37.178s
11 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +0.01s +0.203s 1m37.188s
12 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.166s +0.369s 1m37.354s
13 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.006s +0.375s 1m37.36s
14 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda +0.282s +0.657s 1m37.642s
15 Valentino Rossi Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.062s +0.719s 1m37.704s
16 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.006s +0.725s 1m37.71s
17 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.043s +0.768s 1m37.753s
18 Luca Marini SKY VR46 Avintia Team Ducati +0.018s +0.786s 1m37.771s
19 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.043s +0.829s 1m37.814s
19 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati +3.232s +4.061s 1m41.046s
20 Enea Bastianini Avintia Esponsorama Racing Ducati +-1m0-4s +0.928s 1m37.913s
21 Danilo Petrucci Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.021s +0.949s 1m37.934s
22 Tito Rabat Pramac Racing Ducati +0.479s +1.428s 1m38.413s
23 Iker Lecuona Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.088s +1.516s 1m38.501s

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