Petronas Yamaha SRT's French rider Fabio Quartararo rides during the second free practice of the Valencia Grand Prix, at the Ricardo Tormo racetrack, in Cheste near Valencia. - AFP

VALENCIA: French rookie Fabio Quartararo was fastest for the third straight practice session at the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix on Saturday, with world champion Marc Marquez second quickest.

The 20-year-old Quartararo is hoping to end an impressive debut top-class season with his maiden MotoGP win, after five pole positions and six podium finishes.

The Yamaha-SRT man will be expected to lock down a place on the front row in qualifying later on Saturday.

Honda’s Marquez, who sealed his sixth MotoGP world championship last month, was 0.224 seconds slower than Quartararo, ahead of third-placed Jack Miller and Italian great Valentino Rossi in fourth.

Marquez’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who will retire from the sport after Sunday’s race, improved slightly on his displays from Friday’s practice but was still over a second slower than Quartararo down in 14th on the time-sheets.

Leading MotoGP times from the third practice session for the Valencia Grand Prix:

1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha-SRT): 1.30:232, 2. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) at 0.224sec, 3. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati-Pramac) at 0.311, 4. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) at 0.398, 5. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha-SRT) at 0.491, 6. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) at 0.503, 7. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati) at 0.615, 8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) at 0.619, 9. Joan Mir (ESP/Suzuki) at 0.726, 10. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda-LCR) at 0.764

Selected:

14. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Honda) at 1.151. - AFP