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Qualifying report
MotoGP Thailand GP

MotoGP Thailand GP: Martin smashes lap record, beats Marini to pole

Pramac’s Jorge Martin claimed pole position for the MotoGP Thailand Grand Prix with a new lap record at the Buriram International Circuit.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Having been fastest at the track all through Friday, the championship contender carried that form into qualifying as he beat VR46 rival Luca Marini to the top spot by 0.138s.

Martin was quick off the blocks in Q2, setting a rapid time of 1m29.491s just five minutes into the session, which was already enough to surpass the previous lap record.

This gave him a 0.167s advantage over Marco Bezzecchi after the first runs, with Brad Binder a strong third on the KTM as the entire field headed back to the pits before the halfway point of the session.

Back on track with fresh tyres, Bezzecchi lowered Martin’s benchmark with a time of 1m29.483s, granting him provisional pole position for the Thai sprint and grand prix.

However, Martin had more time up his sleeve and fought back with a 1m29.287s, which secured him his third consecutive pole position and put him in the prime spot to reduce Francesco Bagnaia’s lead of 27 points in the standings.

Second place on the grid went to Bezzecchi’s team-mate Luca Marini after the Italian made a late improvement to a 1m29.425s on his VR46 Ducati.

Aleix Espargaro was able to repeat the kind of pace Aprilia showed in Friday practice to prevent an all-Ducati front row lock-out, grabbing third late on with a time of 1m29.461s.

This demoted Bezzecchi to fourth in the final order, with Binder likewise dropping to fifth despite finding two tenths on his second run.

Championship leader and factory Ducati rider Bagnaia could only manage sixth, 0.240s down on Martin, after running wide at Turn 1 on his final qualifying attempt.

The Marquez brothers made their way from Q1 to qualify seventh and eighth respectively, with Alex leading the third row on his Gresini Ducati ahead of Honda rider Marc.

Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales, the fastest rider in FP3 earlier on Saturday morning, was a disappointing ninth, albeit only fourth tenths off the pace. 

He was followed by Fabio Quartararo on the factory Yamaha, Pramac rider and Australia winner Johann Zarco and Tech3’s Augusto Fernandez.

Fabio di Giannantonio missed out on Q2 progression by 0.002s and will line up 13th on the grid on his Gresini Ducati, ahead of RNF’s Raul Fernandez and KTM rider Jack Miller - who was the most high-profile exit from the first part of qualifying.

Other factory team riders to get eliminated in Q1 were Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha, 18th), Joan Mir (Honda, 19th) and Enea Bastiannini (Ducati, 21st).

Thailand Grand Prix - Q2 results:

         
Driver Info
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Speed Trap
1 Spain J. Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 8

1'29.287

183.614
2 Italy L. Marini Team VR46 10 Ducati 8

+0.138

1'29.425

0.138 183.331
3 Spain A. Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 8

+0.174

1'29.461

0.036 183.257
4 Italy M. Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 9

+0.196

1'29.483

0.022 183.212
5 South Africa B. Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 8

+0.209

1'29.496

0.013 183.185
6 Italy F. Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 8

+0.240

1'29.527

0.031 183.122
7 Spain A. Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 4

+0.313

1'29.600

0.073 182.973
8 Spain M. Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 6

+0.335

1'29.622

0.022 182.928
9 Spain M. Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 7

+0.414

1'29.701

0.079 182.767
10 France F. Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 9

+0.420

1'29.707

0.006 182.754
11 France J. Zarco Pramac Racing 5 Ducati 9

+0.636

1'29.923

0.216 182.315
12 Spain A. Fernandez Tech 3 37 KTM 8

+0.790

1'30.077

0.154 182.004

Thailand Grand Prix - Q1 results:

         
Driver Info
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Speed Trap
1 Spain A. Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 8

1'29.743

182.681 329
2 Spain M. Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 8

+0.087

1'29.830

0.087 182.504 335
3 Italy F. Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing 49 Ducati 8

+0.107

1'29.850

0.020 182.464 332
4 Spain R. Fernández RNF Racing 25 Aprilia 8

+0.171

1'29.914

0.064 182.334 332
5 Australia J. Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 8

+0.353

1'30.096

0.182 181.965 331
6 Japan T. Nakagami Team LCR 30 Honda 8

+0.372

1'30.115

0.019 181.927 329
7 Spain P. Espargaro Tech 3 44 KTM 8

+0.381

1'30.124

0.009 181.909 335
8 Italy F. Morbidelli Yamaha Factory Racing 21 Yamaha 8

+0.415

1'30.158

0.034 181.840 330
9 Spain J. Mir Repsol Honda Team 36 Honda 8

+0.520

1'30.263

0.105 181.629 334
10 Portugal M. Oliveira RNF Racing 88 Aprilia 8

+0.699

1'30.442

0.179 181.269 335
11 Italy E. Bastianini Ducati Team 23 Ducati 8

+0.934

1'30.677

0.235 180.799 335

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