2018 Thailand MotoGP Saturday Results

Michael Scott | October 6, 2018

2018 Thailand MotoGP Saturday Results

Nothing could stop Marc Marquez from taking his 50th premier-class pole – not even a tumble in the morning that meant he had to join the lesser riders in Q1 for only the fourth time in his career.

2018 Thailand MotoGP Saturday Results

Marquez, Thailand MotoGP 2018
Marc Marquez took pole in Thailand, his 50th-career MotoGP pole. (Gold & Goose photo)

The Repsol Honda rider had run out of time in the crucial Saturday morning FP3 after problems with one of his bikes, and then slipped off trying to make up for it at the finish. “This can happen, when you are working for the race,” he explained.

Naturally enough he smashed it in Q1, going even faster than he managed in the subsequent Q2. But his second-session was still good enough to stay an eye-blink one-hundredth clear of the best of the rest.

Best of the rest? Valentino Rossi, belying the slump afflicting Yamaha, as he and MoviStar Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales have been rapid throughout, at a track which on paper (as Rossi said on Thursday) “does not suit our bike”.

Having proved the opposite, he said: “I felt good on the bike from yesterday, and today we did a modification and followed the right way. It looks like at this track we can use the tyres in the right way, and in FP4 I also did a good race pace.”

Last on the front row was Andrea Dovizioso’s factory Ducati, after being on top in free practice. He was just over a tenth down on pole, and laughing at the previous assumption that this was obviously a Ducati track. “It is normal for the competitors to say something like that.” The first part, with long straights and slow corners, was good for the bike, he admitted, but the second more technical section not so much. “It’s strange. You have to keep a lot of angle, and the consumption of the tyre is really high.”

Times have been close throughout in the first time at the baking-hot 4.554-km Chang circuit outside Buriram in the north-east of Thailand; with Q2’s top 12 inside nine tenths of a second, with pole at 1’30.088.

Vinales moved through at the finish to lead row two ahead of Cal Crutchlow’s LCR Honda and Andrea Iannone, on the better of the Ecstar Suzukis. Dani Pedrosa, whose Repsol Honda had set the pace at pre-season tests, was seventh, less than four tenths slower than his team-mate, ahead of Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha) and Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Ducati).

Second Pramac rider Jack Miller had led the list at one point, but ended up tenth, heading row four from Alex Rins (Suzuki) and Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Ducati).

Franco Morbidelli (ED-VDS Honda) was best of the rest, deposed from a trip from Q1 to Q2 only at the last gasp by Rins.

MotoGP Qualifying Classification 2018
Buriram, Saturday, October 06, 2018

1 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 326.2 1’30.088
2 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 325.8 1’30.099 0.011 / 0.011
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 328.4 1’30.227 0.139 / 0.128
4 25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 326.4 1’30.328 0.240 / 0.101
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 328.4 1’30.356 0.268 / 0.028
6 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 325.0 1’30.419 0.331 / 0.063
7 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 329.3 1’30.458 0.370 / 0.039
8 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 325.8 1’30.471 0.383 / 0.013
9 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 330.0 1’30.599 0.511 / 0.128
10 43 Jack MILLER AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 323.0 1’30.660 0.572 / 0.061
11 42 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 323.1 1’30.738 0.650 / 0.078
12 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Angel Nieto Team Ducati 326.3 1’30.976 0.888 / 0.23
13 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 321.7 1’30.923 0.892 / 0.002
14 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 318.6 1’30.995 0.964 / 0.072
15 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 321.0 1’31.207 1.176 / 0.212
16 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 323.1 1’31.243 1.212 / 0.036
17 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Angel Nieto Team Ducati 321.4 1’31.374 1.343 / 0.131
18 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 320.1 1’31.389 1.358 / 0.015
19 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 321.0 1’31.399 1.368 / 0.010
20 10 Xavier SIMEON BEL Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 324.3 1’31.686 1.655 / 0.287
21 81 Jordi TORRES SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 326.8 1’31.819 1.788 / 0.133
22 12 Thomas LUTHI SWI EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 320.6 1’31.830 1.799 / 0.011
23 45 Scott REDDING GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 321.3 1’31.835 1.804 / 0.005

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Michael Scott | MotoGP Editor Scott has been covering MotoGP since long before it was MotoGP. Remember two-strokes? Scott does. He’s also a best-selling author of biographies on the lives of legendary racers such as Wayne Rainey and Barry Sheene.