Important reaction from Marc Márquez in FP3 of the French GP to jump from fifteenth place to fourth and thus avoid Q1 purgatory. The Repsol Honda rider has gone from being 1.3 off the lead to staying 0.248 off the best as marked by Johann Zarco, who has followed only 31 thousandths ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia already 0.145 Fabio Quartararo, although Yamaha’s deserves a separate chapter.
The reaction of the eight-time champion has come thanks to how gentle, good and gentlemanly the current champion has been with him. That Quartararo is a good kid is something well known in the paddock, but what was seen in the third free practice of the weekend is enough to call him a good guy, not a nerd. The Frenchman did not mind giving the Spanish a wheel in two different batches. He was looking for his best time without caring about having #93 glued to his wake, which was miraculously not to the ground with a scare at turn 10 that was about to knock him out by the ears. And on that lap, and despite the scare, Marc was third while Fabio went to first.
At the end of the session, third for Yamaha and fourth for Honda, that on the turn back to the pits he went straight to thank Quartararo with a handshake, from bike to bike. A gesture that magnifies both and that makes it clear at the same time that Fabio still does not see Marc as a direct rival, because if he had been, he would probably have cut gas so as not to give anything to his rival.
Going back to the time table, It should be noted that the top twelve were able to lap below the record that was on this track before Bastianini lowered it yesterday. That is a real past. The 1:31.185 has already been smashed by Zarco (he was the holder of the old record since 2018), Bagnaia, Quartararo, Márquez, Miller, Aleix, Nakagami, Rins, Pol, Bastianini, Martín and Maverick. These last two were left out of the top 10 with direct access to Q2 and will have to go through Q1 in which Mir will also be 13th, Álex Márquez 22nd and Fernández 23rd.