As is typical in FP3 sessions, improvements on the combined order relevant to the Q2 progression places weren’t had for much of the opening half of the 45-minute outing.
Honda duo Alex Marquez and Stefan Bradl, LCR counterpart Takaaki Nakagami and home hero Miguel Oliveira on the Tech3 KTM all took turns leading the individual FP3 timesheet across the first 15 minutes.
Oliveira’s 1m40.290s was beaten by Nakagami with a 1m40.114s with just over 17 minutes to go, before the Japanese rider moved up to ninth overall with a 1m39.804s on his first soft tyre time attack.
Pramac’s Miller finally deposed Friday pacesetter Johann Zarco with 12 minutes remaining, guiding his Ducati GP20 to a 1m39.414s, while Petronas SRT’s Fabio Quartararo moved up to third.
This stood as the benchmark until the closing two minutes, as a final salvo of laps shook up the order.
Oliveira edged ahead of Miller first with a 1m39.372s, before an injured Alex Rins took over top spot on his Suzuki with a 1m39.355s.
Oliveira’s final effort of a 1m39.330s put him back on top of the pile for all of a few seconds, as Miller took the chequered flag with a 1m39.205s to end the morning 0.125 seconds clear of the field.
Rins held onto third spot ahead of Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso ahead of his final race before taking a sabbatical, with Nakagami rounding out the top five.
Fabio Quartararo secured a place in Q2 after finishing FP3 sixth on his Petronas SRT Yamaha, though currently won’t be joined by teammate Franco Morbidelli.
The Italian was ninth on the FP3 timesheets, but his 1m39.619s was only good enough for 11th on the combined times.
KTM’s Pol Espargaro survived a scary moment early in the session when he ran onto the grass on the run into Turn 7 to end FP3 seventh, with Bradl eighth and Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales rounding out the top 10.
Vinales didn’t actually improve on his 1m39.536s from FP2, but still secures a place in Q2, with Zarco also holding onto a top 10 place on combined times despite ending FP3 13th.
World champion Joan Mir was only 15th in FP3 on the Suzuki and faces a tough Q1 session ahead, with the likes of LCR’s Cal Crutchlow, Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, Marquez and KTM’s Brad Binder joining him in the first part of qualifying this afternoon.
Valentino Rossi’s tough time failed to improve on Saturday morning, with the Yamaha rider 1.5s off the pace in 20th ahead of Avintia’s Tito Rabat and Tech3 stand-in Mika Kallio.