Quartararo fastest in third free practice at Le Mans

Le Mans (France) (AFP) –


Frenchman Fabio Quartararo returned to flying form in a tightly-contested third free practice session at the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans on Saturday, setting the fastest time ahead of qualifying.

The 21-year-old Yamaha rider leads of the world championships and considers the circuit his spiritual home.

Quartararo, who was only 11th fastest on Friday, timed 0.13 faster combined than Portuguese KTM man Miguel Oliveira while another Yamaha man Italy's Franco Morbidelli was third at 0.157.

The session was marred by a series of falls put down to cool temperatures weakening tyre grip with Quartararo's title rival the Spaniard Joan Mir hitting the tarmac.

Mir was in good company as Alex Rins, Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), Jack Miller (Ducati-Pramac) and the two Honda men Alex Marquez and Stefan Bradl all took tumbles.

Quartararo leads Mir by a slender eight points with six races to go ahead of the only race to be held in France this season.

Times after the third practice at the French MotoGP:

1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha-SRT) 1min 32.319 sec, 2. Miguel Oliveira (POR/KTM-Tech3) at 0.130 sec, 3. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha-SRT) 0.157, 4. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati-Pramac) 0.184, 5. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda-LCR) 0.239, 6. Johann Zarco (FRA/Ducati-Avintia) 0.312, 7. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.321, 8. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 0.329, 9. Pol Espargaro (ESP/KTM) 0.341,10. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 0.367