Quartararo smashes lap record, Rossi heads to Q1 again

Fabio Quartararo puts down a marker with the fastest ever MotoGP lap at Assen while Valentino Rossi saw his fastest lap cancelled for exceeding track limits
Quartararo smashes lap record, Rossi heads to Q1 again

Full FP3 times at the Dutch MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo has laid down a marker by setting the fastest ever MotoGP lap at Assen at the end of FP3 to claim top spot for Petronas Yamaha, while Valentino Rossi saw his fastest lap cancelled after exceeding track limits which leaves him out of the top 10 and heading to Q1.

After Danilo Petrucci initially broke the four-year-old lap record with a 1m 32.580s on his Ducati with five minutes to go in FP3, Quartararo used new soft tyres to go fractionally quicker with a 1m 32.471s to take top spot with his final lap in the session.

Fresh of pole position at Circuit de Catalunya, Quartararo is set to go into qualifying as favourite to repeat the feat as his impressive rookie MotoGP campaign continues.

With Petrucci shuffled into second place late on, Friday’s fastest rider Maverick Vinales was unable to replicate the lap record pace but held on to third place for Monster Yamaha ahead of MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez for Repsol Honda.

But for Vinales’ team-mate Valentino Rossi the joy of reaching the automatic Q2 spots quickly turned into despair as he dropped from fifth to 14th place on the combined times as his fastest FP3 lap time was deleted for exceeding track limits at Turn 18.

Despite the lap looking untroubled for Rossi, replays caught the nine-time world champion dropping his rear tyre off the kerb and on to the green run-off area on the exit of the Geert Timmer chicane which meant the lap time wouldn’t count.

With Rossi demoted, LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami was promoted to fifth place with Petronas Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli in sixth.

Jack Miller edged out Andrea Dovizioso for seventh place with Cal Crutchlow, initially on the bubble of the top 10, claiming ninth place for LCR Honda.

Joan Mir was the fortunate rider to reach the top 10 at Rossi’s expense having edged out Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins by just 0.070s meaning Rins will also start qualifying in Q1 alongside Rossi.

After impressing during Friday practice, Andrea Iannone failed to replicate his top 10 pace and missed out in 12th place for Aprilia but stayed ahead of Pramac Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia and Rossi.

Iannone’s Aprilia team-mate Aleix Espargaro rounded out the top 15 as he continues to battle a knee injury sustained last time out in a crash with team test rider Bradley Smith during the Barcelona race.

With Karel Abraham in 16th place for Avintia Ducati, it was a bad session for all KTM riders as they claimed four of the bottom five places on the times.