Vinales saves the best for last in chaotic FP3

After getting pipped by Marc Marquez in FP2, young Spaniard Maverick Vinales returned to the top of the timesheets in a crash-strewn third and final practice session at the Americas MotoGP.

Already seriously quick on Friday, the 22-year-old Yamaha rider set the fastest time of the weekend so far on his penultimate lap, a 2m03.979s, to finish ahead of Honda stablemates Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow.

Pedrosa produced a late flyer to lift himself into second place, three-tenths back, while Crutchlow was 0.698s adrift.

Reigning world champion Marquez was fourth fastest, seven-tenths back, in the second RC213V, followed by Scott Redding, the only other rider within one second of Vinales' time at the Circuit of the Americas.

Marquez twice took a tumble during the session, but was far from the only rider to do so. Alex Rins, Alvaro Bautista, Aleix Espargaro (twice), Andrea Dovizioso, Sam Lowes, Andrea Iannone and Jorge Lorenzo all fell as well. 

Riders reported experiencing more moisture on the track amid cooler conditions, although the previous Moto3 session passed without incident.

The only notable injury was to Rins, who suffered a broken wrist.

Three-time world champion Lorenzo was struggling to break into the top 10 when he crashed his Ducati at turn 18, ending his chances of receiving direct access to the second and final part of this afternoon's qualifying session.

Valentino Rossi finished way down in 15th, nearly three seconds down on team-mate Vinales, although the Italian still did enough over the three sessions to advance to Q2.

Joining Rossi are Vinales, Marquez, Pedrosa, Johann Zarco, Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Redding, Jonas Folger and Iannone.

FP3 times
1 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 2m03.979s 
2 Dani Pedrosa Honda 2m04.296s 0.317s 
3 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 2m04.677s 0.698s 
4 Marc Marquez Honda 2m04.687s 0.708s 
5 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 2m04.956s 0.977s 
6 Jack Miller MVDS Honda 2m05.272s 1.293s 
7 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha 2m05.653s 1.674s 
8 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati 2m05.752s 1.773s 
9 Tito Rabat MVDS Honda 2m05.768s 1.789s 
10 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 2m05.872s 1.893s 
11 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2m05.910s 1.931s 
12 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 2m05.930s 1.951s 
13 Jonas Folger Tech3 Yamaha 2m06.127s 2.148s 
14 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati 2m06.188s 2.209s
15 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2m06.915s 2.936s 
16 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 2m07.538s 3.559s 
17 Bradley Smith KTM 2m08.257s 4.278s 
18 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati 2m08.350s 4.371s 
19 Pol Espargaro KTM 2m09.044s 5.065s 
20 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati 2m09.135s 5.156s 
21 Sam Lowes Aprilia 2m10.418s 6.439s 
22 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 2m12.196s 8.217s
–  Alex Rins Suzuki – – 0