|Suzuki Ecstar’s Spanish rider Joan Mir takes part in the third practice session ahead of the MotoGP Grand Prix of Teruel at the Motorland circuit in Alcaniz on October 24, 2020.(PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP)|
Championship leader Joan Mir, who has never won a MotoGP race, grabbed the final automatic spot in Q2 by finishing 10th quickest on his Suzuki in Alcañiz.
His closest title challenger, Frenchman Fabio Quartararo, safely eased through in third with a lap just 0.068 seconds slower than Morbidelli’s effort of one minute and 47.333 seconds.
Quartararo, who rides for Yamaha’s SRT satellite team, is only six points behind Mir in the championship.
With four races of the coronavirus-truncated campaign remaining, Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales is still in contention, sitting just 12 points off the pace.
The 25-year-old Spaniard also impressed on Saturday by going fourth-fastest.
Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso, who has finished second in the world championship behind Marc Marquez in each of the last three years, suffered a blow to his title hopes as he finished 14th on the timesheets.
The Italian is fourth in the standings, but only 15 points behind Mir in a season blown wide open by Marquez’s injury in the opening race in Spain.