Buriram MotoGP: Marquez beats Rossi to pole for first Thai race

Marc Marquez fought his way through Q1 to secure pole position for MotoGP's inaugural race in Thailand, beating Valentino Rossi by just a hundredth of a second

Buriram MotoGP: Marquez beats Rossi to pole for first Thai race

Honda rider Marquez was forced into the first part of qualifying after a crash during Saturday morning's third practice session left him 11th in the combined classification.

But after making it through Q1 with ease, the Spaniard came out on top in the subsequent 15-minute pole-position shootout at Buriram.

After leading the opening runs on a 1m30.356s, Yamaha's Rossi briefly returned to the top of the timesheets in front of Marquez with a 1m30.099s with two minutes left on the clock.

But Marquez responded moments later with a 1m30.088s, which was good enough to give him pole by 0.011 seconds - albeit half a tenth slower than the effort he had managed in Q1.

It marks the first time a rider has taken pole in MotoGP having come through Q1.

Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa's 1m29.781s effort in February testing remains the unofficial fastest lap on a MotoGP bike of the Buriram track.

Behind Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso was third on the sole works Ducati, following the withdrawal of Jorge Lorenzo following his huge crash on Friday.

Dovizioso had looked poised to usurp Marquez on his final lap, but dropped time in the final two sectors and ended up falling short by 0.139s.

Maverick Vinales made it two Yamahas in the top four, missing out on a front row spot by a tenth, followed by Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Suzuki's Andrea Iannone.

Pedrosa was seventh ahead of Johann Zarco (Tech3) and the two Pramac Ducatis of Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller.

Suzuki's Alex Rins, who joined Marquez in advancing from Q1, and Nieto Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista completed the order in Q2.

After his FP3 crash, Marquez unsurprisingly dominated the opening segment of qualifying - his time of 1m30.031s put him nine tenths clear of the pack and leaving just one other Q2 spot available.

The battle for that place played out between Suzuki rider Rins and Marc VDS Honda man Franco Morbidelli, who was poised to go through until being beaten by just 0.002s after the chequered flag fell.

Morbidelli therefore starts 13th ahead of fellow Honda satellite rider Takaaki Nakagami and the lead KTM of Bradley Smith.

Aprilia's challenge was led by Aleix Espargaro in 16th, while younger brother Pol qualified 19th on his return from injury aboard the second KTM.

British Superbike-bound Scott Redding struggling to 13th in Q1 and last place on the grid for Sunday with a time six tenths slower than Aprilia stablemate Espargaro.

Qualifying result

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap
1 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m30.088s -
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m30.099s 0.011s
3 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m30.227s 0.139s
4 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 1m30.328s 0.240s
5 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 1m30.356s 0.268s
6 Andrea Iannone Suzuki Suzuki 1m30.419s 0.331s
7 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 1m30.458s 0.370s
8 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m30.471s 0.383s
9 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m30.599s 0.511s
10 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m30.660s 0.572s
11 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 1m30.738s 0.650s
12 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m30.976s 0.888s
13 Franco Morbidelli MVDS Honda Honda 1m30.923s -
14 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 1m30.995s -
15 Bradley Smith KTM KTM 1m31.207s -
16 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 1m31.243s -
17 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m31.374s -
18 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m31.389s -
19 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 1m31.399s -
20 Xavier Simeon Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m31.686s -
21 Jordi Torres Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m31.819s -
22 Thomas Luthi MVDS Honda Honda 1m31.830s -
23 Scott Redding Aprilia Aprilia 1m31.835s -


shares
comments
Buriram MotoGP: Dovizioso tops FP3, Marquez to contest Q1 after crash

Previous article

Buriram MotoGP: Dovizioso tops FP3, Marquez to contest Q1 after crash

Next article

Buriram MotoGP: Cal Crutchlow surpised by 'strange' Yamaha gains

Buriram MotoGP: Cal Crutchlow surpised by 'strange' Yamaha gains
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Alex Marquez , Marc Marquez
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Jamie Klein
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021