Honda’s Marc Marquez went from Q1 to Q2 to take pole in MotoGP’s Thai GP at Buriram ahead of Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.
In a rare sight, Marquez had to go through the first part of qualifying to find a spot in Q2. The Spaniard did it with ease at Buriram clocking the fastest time of 1m30.031s from Suzuki’s Alex Rins (1m30.921s).
The Suzuki rider had a stiff fight with Marc VDS Honda’s Franco Morbidelli (1m30.923s) who was equally on it to get through Q2. The Italian displaced Rins on his final lap but the Spaniard fought back to retake the position, leaving Morbidelli 13th for the Sunday’s race.
LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami (1m30.995s) did well to be 14th in a close fight with Rins and Morbidelli with KTM’s Bradley Smith (1m31.207s) slotting in 15th from Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro (1m31.243s).
Angel Nieto Ducati’s Karel Abraham (1m31.374s) also did well in 17th with Tech 3 Yamaha’s Hafizh Syahrin (1m31.389s) slowing finding his rhythm back in 18th from the returning KTM’s Pol Espargaro (1m31.399s).
Avintia Racing Ducati’s Xavier Simeon (1m31.686s) finished 20th with teammate Jordi Torres (1m31.819s) doing well to beat Marc VDS Honda’s Thomas Luthi (1m31.830s) and Aprilia’s Scott Redding (1m31.835s) in only his second MotoGP weekend.
The fight for the top spot saw Marquez setting a 1m30.356s to take provisional pole from Dovizioso after their initial runs with Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller and Danilo Petrucci continuing their fine form in third and fourth respectively.
It was intense in the final moments as Rossi shot into the top on his second run but he was immediately beaten by Marquez by just the 0.011s, who took pole for the Thai GP with a 1m30.088s lap time.
He also became the first rider to top both Q1 and Q2 in MotoGP’s history – thereby becoming the first to actually register pole after having to run in Q1 as well. Rossi kept second still with Dovizioso unable to better his position on the final lap.
In a fine show from Yamaha after a terrible Aragon GP, Maverick Vinales (1m30.328s) finished fourth from LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (1m30.356s), Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone (1m30.419s) and Honda’s Dani Pedrosa (1m30.458s).
Tech 3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco (1m30.471s) then slotted in eighth with Petrucci (1m30.599s) and Miller (1m30.660s) falling down to ninth and 10th respectively ahead of Rins (130.738s) and Angel Nieto Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista (1m30.976s).