Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales topped third practice for MotoGP’s Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, edging newly-crowned champion Marc Marquez.
Vinales and Marquez traded times with 20 minutes to go after the Honda rider successfully managed to upsurge the Yamaha’s previous chart-topping benchmark of 2m.00.640s.
But Vinales immediately shot back, setting a time of 2m00.284s to reclaim the top spot.
That lap would remain unbeaten until the final few minutes of the session, when times began to quickly tumble.
Vinales himself was first to break the two-minute barrier, but was immediately bettered by Jack Miller – who took over the top of the timesheets with a 1m59.375s flyer on his Pramac Ducati.
Marquez threw in his own late attempt, but Vinales managed to beat him with a 1m59.231s to end the session fastest of all.
Marquez was 0.026 seconds behind in second, while Miller’s previous benchmark put him third in the timesheets.
Dani Pedrosa earned himself a Q2 berth on the other works Honda by ending up fourth in both the session and the combined the standings, his time of 1m59.599s was 0.224s behind Vinales’ quickest lap.
Tech3’s Johann Zarco finished fifth ahead of Pramac rider Danilo Petrucci and the second factory Yamaha of Valentino Rossi, while Andrea Iannone was classified eighth for Suzuki.
Iannone held on to the final Q2 spot from Nieto Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista, who finished ninth in the session and 11th overall.
The top 10 was completed by Franco Morbidelli’s Marc VDS Honda.
Jorge Lorenzo’s replacement Michele Pirro ended up 16th fastest in the session after suffering a slide at the final corner.
|3||Jack Miller||Pramac Ducati||Ducati||1m59.375s||0.144s||18|
|5||Johann Zarco||Tech3 Yamaha||Yamaha||1m59.655s||0.424s||18|
|6||Danilo Petrucci||Pramac Ducati||Ducati||1m59.671s||0.440s||16|
|9||Alvaro Bautista||Aspar Ducati||Ducati||2m00.130s||0.899s||19|
|10||Franco Morbidelli||MVDS Honda||Honda||2m00.405s||1.174s||16|
|11||Stefan Bradl||LCR Honda||Honda||2m00.428s||1.197s||18|
|13||Hafizh Syahrin||Tech3 Yamaha||Yamaha||2m00.558s||1.327s||16|
|14||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda||Honda||2m00.638s||1.407s||18|
|20||Karel Abraham||Aspar Ducati||Ducati||2m01.385s||2.154s||15|
|21||Thomas Luthi||MVDS Honda||Honda||2m01.470s||2.239s||17|
|23||Jordi Torres||Avintia Ducati||Ducati||2m03.142s||3.911s||13|
|24||Xavier Simeon||Avintia Ducati||Ducati||2m03.455s||4.224s||11|