Rossi misses top-10 time on drying Austrian track

Spielberg bei Knittelfeld (Austria) (AFP) –


Valentino Rossi could not force himself into the top 10 in the final free practice for the Austrian MotoGp on Saturday morning and must line up in the afternoon's first qualifying session.

After an early shower the track was wet in places until the end of the third practice session and none of the riders could improve on the times they set on Friday morning, before the rain.

Italian Rossi (Yamaha) remained 11th with only the ten fastest in free practice receiving a direct pass to Q2.

Another Italian, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) remained the fastest with a lap of 1min 23.83sec with Rossi, who is second to Spaniard Marc Marquez (Honda) in the championship, more than a second back.

If the weather stays changeable, riding in Q1 could provide an opportunity for Rossi in the battle for grid places.

In the tricky conditions, Marquez did not come close to his Friday morning time, but struck a psychological blow with a time 1.784 seconds faster than the next best rider Briton Bradley Smith (KTM) and 2.512 quicker than Dovizioso in seventh.

Combined free practice times after three sessions:

1. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 1:23.830, 2. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Ducati) at 0.215, 3. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati Pramac) 0.490, 4. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 0.581. 5. Andrea Iannone (ITA/Suzuki) 0.606, 6. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 0.644, 7. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/LCR Honda) 0.661, 8. Tito Rabat (ESP/Ducati Avintia) 0.846, 9. Johann Zarco (FRA/Yamaha Tech3) 0.937, 10. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 1.005

Selected: 11. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 1.054