Espargaro edged Martin by 0.028s in FP3

Cooler conditions on Saturday morning meant that lap time gains in the overall combined order were few and far between for the first half of the session.

Espargaro will be the first major improver in the combined standings as the session draws to a close and remains fastest of all heading into qualifying with a 1m58.254s coming to the checkered flag.

Only Tech 3 KTM rookie Raul Fernandez after 15 minutes of running found a time to his best Friday, although he remained in 23rd as Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco topped the individual timesheet with 1m59.476s.

It wasn’t until the last 16 minutes of the session that some serious attacks came with Fabio Quartararo’s best effort from Friday.

Aprilia’s Espargaro demolished Quartararo’s 1m58.946s with a 1m58.695s in his first foray into the fresh soft Michelin rubber.

Team-mate Maverick Vinales quickly passed him, firing a 1m58.599s, before Espargaro in his second effort went within the distance of the all-time Silverstone lap record with a 1m58.254s to return to the top of the order.

Ducati’s Jack Miller split the Aprilia pair as the session entered its final 11 minutes with a 1m58.332s, while Quartararo – who continued to practice on the long lap penalty loop in FP3 – sat fourth.

With 10 minutes to go, everyone in the top 10 apart from ninth-placed Alex Rins found time on their best laps on Friday as they bid to go straight into the pole shootout session in qualifying later afternoon

Espargaro failed to make any further gains on his 1m58.254s lap as the clock counted down, but he drew the ire of Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia at the Village corner in the closing stages after the latter felt he had upset his flight.

But on the cooldown lap after the checkered flag, the pair embraced the thing.

Pramac’s Martin threatened Espargaro’s time on his final flying lap at the end of the session, but managed just 1m58.282s to see himself safely into Q2 later this afternoon.

Martin was forced to park back in the pitlane after the checkered flag as his Ducati broke. It is not yet clear if it was a mechanical issue or he just ran out of fuel.

Miller completed the top three on his factory team Ducati ahead of Zarco, who crashed late at the Village corner when his GP22 lost the front-end under braking.

Vinales rounded out the top five on his Aprilia, with championship leader Quartararo finishing sixth ahead of Bagnaia and Suzuki’s Joan Mir.

Luca Marini grabbed an outright spot in Q2 on his VR46 Ducati in ninth ahead of the second Suzuki of Alex Rins, with Marco Bezzecchi dropping out in Q1 missing the cut by just 0.182s.

He will be joined in Q1 in qualifying by Gresini’s Enea Bastianini, who could only manage 12th at the end of FP3 ahead of Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli.

All four KTM riders had to go through the first qualifying segment too later, along with all the Honda runners and the RNF duo of retiring Andrea Dovizioso and rookie Darryn Binder.

Qualifying for the 2022 MotoGP British Grand Prix begins at 2:10pm local time.

Silverstone MotoGP – FP3 results:

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