Cal Crutchlow set the pace in third practice for MotoGP’s Aragon round, as Valentino Rossi and Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales missed the automatic Q2 cut after a crash.
Crutchlow set the quickest time in the dying moments of the 45-minute session, the LCR Honda rider recovering from an earlier crash at Turn 2, but his 1m47.393s effort came up 0.011 seconds shy of Marc Marquez’s benchmark from FP2.
Barring an early improvement from Suzuki man Alex Rins, the combined top 10 order did not change in the opening half of the session until Crutchlow went fastest on a 1m48.041s with 20 minutes remaining.
That remained the best time until Pramac Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci bettered that by two tenths, but after a brief spell at the top for Marquez, Crutchlow retook first with less than a minute left on the clock.
Jack Miller (Pramac) slotted into second, just 0.020s behind, while factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone (Suzuki) bumped Marquez down to fifth in the FP3 order.
Marquez’s Friday effort ensured he topped the combined timesheets ahead of Crutchlow and Miller, while Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati) ended up fourth overall despite not improving on his Friday time ahead of Dovizioso and Iannone.
Next up in seventh was Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, ahead of Petrucci, Alvaro Bautista’s Nieto Ducati and Rins, who hung on for the final automatic Q2 spot.
Missing out on a top 10 place by just 0.036s was the Yamaha of Vinales, but his team-mate Valentino Rossi ended up way down in 18th, 1.5s off the pace, after crashing on his final run at Turn 2.
Bradley Smith was an encouraging 12th for KTM ahead of Franco Morbidelli’s Marc VDS Honda, while Aleix Espargaro rounded out the top 15 behind the Tech3 Yamaha of Johann Zarco.
Pol Espargaro had to be taken to the medical centre suffered a crash at Turn 14.
The KTM rider appeared to be in pain, having only just recovered from a broken collarbone sustained last month in Brno, and MotoGP later confirmed he had broken his collarbone again. KTM said Espargaro would have surgery on Saturday.
The only other rider to crash was Avintia Ducati stand-in Jordi Torres, who was once again 24th and last.
|1||Cal Crutchlow||LCR Honda||Honda||1m47.393s||–||17|
|2||Jack Miller||Pramac Ducati||Ducati||1m47.413s||0.020s||19|
|7||Danilo Petrucci||Pramac Ducati||Ducati||1m47.746s||0.353s||18|
|8||Alvaro Bautista||Aspar Ducati||Ducati||1m47.891s||0.498s||20|
|13||Franco Morbidelli||MVDS Honda||Honda||1m48.129s||0.736s||16|
|14||Johann Zarco||Tech3 Yamaha||Yamaha||1m48.154s||0.761s||17|
|16||Karel Abraham||Aspar Ducati||Ducati||1m48.423s||1.030s||17|
|17||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda||Honda||1m48.450s||1.057s||20|
|19||Thomas Luthi||MVDS Honda||Honda||1m49.259s||1.866s||17|
|20||Hafizh Syahrin||Tech3 Yamaha||Yamaha||1m49.361s||1.968s||15|
|22||Xavier Simeon||Avintia Ducati||Ducati||1m49.564s||2.171s||19|
|24||Jordi Torres||Avintia Ducati||Ducati||1m51.171s||3.778s||17|