The final session of the day got underway and Sam Lowes was most eager to get out and post the first solid benchmark of the afternoon. The British rider enjoyed some time in the limelight before the halfway point of the session, when some other familiar faces took their turn at the top, beginning with unfortunate fourth place enthusiast Marcel Schrotter.
Despite the German being well acquainted with top position in practice, the gaps throughout the field were pretty tight, which meant that the likes of Miguel Oliveira and Alex Marquez found themselves outside the top ten despite only being four tenths down on the leader. The two podium regulars were on track to improve on those positions when the session was red flagged in the final ten minutes after a largely harmless incident for Federico Fuglini damaged the air fence in turn two.
Once the protection was re-deployed, the intermediate class riders got another shot to disturb the hierarchy and Xavi Vierge was the first to strike with four minutes left on the clock. The Dynavolt rider held on to top position despite a spirited charge behind, while Alex Marquez further demoted the home hero by making a late jump into second place. Schrotter settled for third but only three hundredths of a second behind, with Khairul Idham Pawi making an impression with a great fourth position, only eighth tenths off the lead.
No one was as grateful for the late respite as Pecco Bagnaia, the championship leader coming off a tricky FP1 when he tumbled in the gravel at turn three and benefited from the extra time for his team to get the bike sorted. The Italian came back out all guns blazing and snatched fifth place ahead of compatriots and Academy sparring partners Lorenzo Baldassarri and Mattia Pasini.
Brad Binder was the lead Red Bull KTM in eighth position - although a mere tenth of a second off the lead - with early leader Lowes and Simone Corsi completing the top ten. A few of the names who missed out on the limelight were Joan Mir in 11th, Oliveira in 13th and Fabio Quartararo in 17th, but their gaps will not ring major alarm bells as the Frenchman was only four tenths off Vierge and the top 28 was covered by one second.
|4||89||Khairul Idham PAWI||Kalex||1'24.830||0.080||0.051|
|14||52||Danny KENT||Speed Up||1'25.093||0.343||0.059|
|16||87||Remy GARDNER||Tech 3||1'25.149||0.399||0.018|
|17||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||Speed Up||1'25.157||0.407||0.008|
|24||64||Bo BENDSNEYDER||Tech 3||1'25.487||0.737||0.106|