After the FP2 washout, the premier class were particularly keen to make the most of the sunny and dry conditions on Saturday morning. Improvements came quickly on the combined standings but the serious battle on fresh soft rubber started in the final 15 minutes and Pecco Bagnaia waited until the final flying lap to take control of the session and confirm Ducati’s speed around the Red Bull Ring. Two hundredths of a second behind the leader doesn’t tell the full story of Fabio Quartararo’s session, the Frenchman having half a dozen wobbles at turn 3 and just as many cancelled lap times before securing a top 10 position at the last moment. Teammate Maverick Viñales had a much easier time in FP3, leading the way on occasion, showing consistent pace and ending up pretty happy with third place.
Jorge Martin had a solid session in fourth spot, ahead of Joan Mir, who finally got his hands on Suzuki’s ride height device. Johann Zarco in sixth place was only three tenths off the lead, with Marc Marquez close behind. Aleix Espargaro was a bit slow to go quicker than on Friday but managed to climb back into eighth, ahead of Jack Miller, who was six tenths off his teammate’s top time. Friday leader Takaaki Nakagami was even slower to get up to speed but he held onto the final top 10 position.
With the top 15 riders covered by six tenths of a second, quite a few fast men will be battling it out in Q1, including Pol Espargaro, who missed out on Q2 by one hundredth of a second, the top KTM of Dani Pedrosa and the Alex duet of Rins and Marquez.