MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo Qualifies On Pole With New Lap Record In Thailand (Updated)

MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo Qualifies On Pole With New Lap Record In Thailand (Updated)

© 2019, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By John Ulrich.

Race Lap Record: 1:31.471, Marc Marquez, 2018

All-Time Lap Record: 1:29.719, Fabio Quartararo, 2019

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Buriram International Circuit

Buriram, Thailand

October 5, 2019

Dry Conditions

 Qualifying Session Number One Results (all using Michelin tires):

  1. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Duc GP19), 1:30.685
  2. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM RC16), 1:30.956
  3. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Hon RC213V), 1:30.969
  4. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Hon RC213V), 1:31.388
  5. Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Duc GP18), 1:31.416
  6. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Apr RS-GP), 1:31.428
  7. Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM RC16), 1:31.499
  8. Tito Rabat, Spain (Duc GP18), 1:31.554
  9. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Hon RC213V), 1:31.605
  10. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Duc GP18), 1:31.773
  11. Mika Kallio, Finland (KTM RC16), 1:31.849
  12. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (KTM RC16), 1:31.979

Qualifying Session Number Two Results (all using Michelin tires):

  1. Fabio Quartararo, France (Yam YZR-M1), 1:29.719
  2. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yam YZR-M1), 1:29.825
  3. Marc Marquez, Spain (Hon RC213V), 1:29.931
  4. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yam YZR-M1), 1:30.431
  5. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Duc GP19), 1:30.522
  6. Jack Miller, Australia (Duc GP19), 1:30.597
  7. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Duc GP19), 1:30.692
  8. Joan Mir, Spain (Suz GSX-RR), 1:30.735
  9. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yam YZR-M1), 1:30.741
  10. Alex Rins, Spain (Suz GSX-RR), 1.30.778
  11. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM RC16), 1:31.065
  12. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Apr RS-GP), 1:31.258

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:

Oliveira and Syahrin to start This GP from 6th and 8th row

Following a wet and partly drying morning session, the Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo head out to a hot and humid Qualifying at the Chang International Circuit this afternoon, whereby both, Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin managed to do their fastest lap of the weekend so far.

While Oliveira missed out on a possible Q2 entry by 0.543 seconds after an adventurous Friday and will start his 15th MotoGP race from row six on the grid, Syahrin concluded the short and intense session 0.480 seconds behind his teammate in P12. Yet, the Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo is eager to produce a decent race when the red lights turn off at 14.00 local time (9.00 CET) on Sunday.

 

Miguel Oliveira

Position: 17th

Time: 1:31.499

Laps: 8

“To be honest, this was not the best Qualifying for us. All weekend, we are struggling with the rear break. Therefore, I couldn’t go as fast as I wanted. I’m quite disappointed about this small detail, which costs us a few tenths. It’s not ideal, but as always, we will try our best tomorrow in the race.”

 

Hafizh Syahrin

Position: 22nd

Time: 1:31.979

Laps: 8

“It’s a big shame to see our final position in Qualifying, but the pace we had in FP4 today and also in the Q1 itself, made me feel good. I was only missing a few tenths to improve my place, but tomorrow is race day, which is more important. So, I hope I can be even more focused tomorrow and be ready for the race, which for sure will be hot and very long. I hope I can stay with the group in front of me and the ultimate goal is to arrive at the points scoring positions.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:

FOURTH AND SIXTH ROW FOR THE APRILIAS IN THE GP OF THAILAND

ALEIX TWELFTH AND ANDREA SIXTEENTH AFTER QUALIFYING

Going straight through to Q2 based on his good placement yesterday when he finished seventh, Aleix Espargaró ended the day in twelfth place with a time of 1’31.258 without improving on his time from yesterday, a placement that earns him a spot on the fourth row of the starting grid tomorrow. On a much-feared circuit, the RS-GP took a clear step forward compared to last year and the good sensations he has had since Friday leave Aleix confident for the race tomorrow.

Andrea stopped in the first qualifying session (Q1), lapping at a time of 1,31.428 which is a step forward compared to yesterday, but not enough to go through to Q2, which he missed by just 4 and a half tenths.

 

ALEIX ESPARGARO’

“In qualifying I could have aimed for the top 10. The pace and feeling during the other sessions were good. Unfortunately, with the first tyre I did not have good sensations – it slid around a lot – and with the second I may have gotten a bit carried away in the moment. I pushed hard the entire lap and in the end it didn’t pay off on the time sheets. I expect a very hard race. With these temperatures, you have to manage tyre wear well. I am ready to battle. At the beginning of the weekend I would have signed on the dotted line to have this feeling on one of the most difficult tracks for us.”

 

ANDREA IANNONE

“We have good potential in the more flowing part of the track. I’ve been riding behind other riders and we are able to maintain the pace. However, I can’t be fully satisfied, because we are still losing a lot in the first two sectors and that is a handicap that keeps me from improving. I am giving it my all. I am at the team’s complete disposal and they are at mine. We have improved the bike since the beginning of the season and now you can tell, but these are not things that are solved from one day to the next. The race won’t be a walk in the park, but we’ll put forth our best effort on the track.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:

Phenomenal Fabio takes fourth pole position at Thailand GP

Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli score big for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT with first and fourth on the grid for tomorrow’s Thai GP

Thai GP – 5 October 2019

Rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo has delivered yet another phenomenal performance for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team at the Thailand Grand Prix, securing the fourth pole position of his debut season. Team-mate Franco Morbidelli also had an excellent day at the Buriram International Circuit, finishing just behind Quartararo in fourth.

Quartararo had a strong start to the morning in damp conditions at the Buriram track and was able to continue that form over into a dry FP4 to finish first. Breaking the lap record not once but twice in qualifying to take the top spot with a time of 1mins 29.719secs, it means he ended the day 0.106 seconds ahead of his closest rival, fellow Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales, despite a small tumble in the final seconds of the session.

Morbidelli was also able to convert strong practice pace into an impressive qualifying performance, showing his speed in FP3 by finishing second and setting a time of 1min 30.431secs in Q2 to lead the second row for tomorrow’s race. Meeting his targets with the fourth-place finish, he’s feeling well-prepared and feeling comfortable despite what the Thai weather might throw at him tomorrow.

Quartararo and Morbidelli will get tomorrow’s 26-lap Thailand Grand Prix underway at 1400 local time (1500 Malaysian time).

 

Franco Morbidelli

4th (1’30.431)

“I’m happy about the result because to be on the front two rows was our target and we achieved it. I’m pleased with the pace we have as well, so warm-up in the morning will just be a case of improving a few elements and then making a good race. We’ve been fast in wet and dry conditions, feeling confident in both, and we’re ready to start now. I will try as always for the podium, but we might just be missing a little bit. If we can make some improvements in the areas we’ve identified, we can achieve it.”

 

Fabio Quartararo

1st (1’29.719)

“I gave it my everything in qualifying, and it paid off. It’s nice to be able to make not one but two good laps, despite being a little bit over the limit at the end pushing for a third one. I’ve felt strong on the bike all weekend, everything is working really well, and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve tomorrow. The team have done an amazing job all weekend, and the result was as much for them as it was for me. We’ve got great race pace as well as time attack speed so I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens in the race.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

MIR AND RINS TACKLE TEMPESTUOUS SATURDAY IN THAILAND

Joan Mir: 8th – 1:30.735
Alex Rins: 10th – 1:30.778

• Joan Mir to start from 3rd row in Thai MotoGP debut.
• Alex Rins close behind team-mate in 10th.
• Team preparing for unpredictable race day.

Saturday morning in Buriram brought extreme wet weather and long delays to the FP3 session due to track conditions. When it was safe to go out, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders showed very good pace, and Alex Rins was able to set the 3rd fastest time, also featuring in the top three of all sectors on the track. Joan Mir was 8th. Both riders had direct passage to Q2 due to their Friday times.

The riders used FP4 to prepare for final qualifying, and this session went smoothly for both Rins and Mir, 7th and 11th respectively.

Mir impressed on his first flying lap in Q2, putting himself into 3rd place with a decent lap time. The rookie has adapted well to the Thai track, within the Top 10 in all but one session, and closing qualifying on the 3rd row in 8th place.

Rins will start tomorrow’s GP from 10th place, qualifying close to his team-mate. He feels confident with Thailand’s layout and the many over-taking opportunities.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“First of all, I’m glad that both riders went directly into Q2, that was important. Joan did a great job to qualify 8th, and we’ll see how his race develops tomorrow. It was a bit disappointing for Alex that he will start 10th, but he’s ready to try and fight through the pack. We hope for a good race for both riders, let’s see what happens!”

Joan Mir:

“I haven’t ridden here before, but I feel good. Since my injury the team and I have worked really hard to come back and finish the season in a positive way, and it looks like it’s starting to pay off. We have to work a bit harder in qualifying in the future, but I hope to be able to fight from 8th on the grid. Alex and I are close to each other on times, and let’s see if we can run together in the race.”

Alex Rins:

“I’m satisfied because I improved my lap time, but not by enough. I’m starting in 10th tomorrow and I’m a bit behind the top guys, but there are many over-taking opportunities at this track and it’s possible to make up a lot of positions. Although it won’t be easy because everybody is very close, and if you make a mistake you could lose a lot of places. Let’s see what I can do tomorrow!”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:

CRUTCHLOW STAYING POSITIVE AHEAD OF THAILAND GP

Cal Crutchlow endured a frustrating day of qualifying for the Grand Prix of Thailand and will now start Sunday’s race from 13th on the grid. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider – who is sporting the sponsor’s green colour on his faring this weekend – could not progress from Q1 as an early downpour in Buriram made life difficult.

With the wet track in FP3 ensuring that Friday’s times could not be bettered, Crutchlow was denied the chance to claim a spot in Q2 despite going seventh fastest in the morning session. He then narrowly missed out on an all-important top-two position in Q1 by just a tenth of a second and will now start from the fifth row tomorrow.

Cal Crutchlow – 13th

(1’30.969 – lap 6 of 8)

“I was 13th yesterday and I’m 13th again today, so it’s another bad day in the office, but that’s the reality. Anyway, I’m positive enough for tomorrow and we have to try and aim for a decent enough result. I think we’re a lot better than our pace shows, I should have gone faster in that qualifying and should have been in Q2 directly anyway. But we’ll see what we can do in tomorrow’s race.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:

FIFTH ROW FOR TAKA IN THAILAND

Takaaki Nakagami will start the Grand Prix of Thailand from the fifth row of the grid after heavy rain complicated matters during Saturday’s action. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider had to settle for 14th position overall as he was unable to progress from Q1 at the Chang International Circuit.

Sitting in 14th after Friday’s free practice, Taka was denied the chance to improve his time in FP3 by the early downpours in Buriram. The track had dried out for the qualifying sessions, but the Japanese star finished in fourth in Q1 – just behind team-mate Cal Crutchlow – and now has work to do in Sunday’s race to achieve his target of a top-10 finish.

Takaaki Nakagami – 14th

(1’31.388 – lap 8 of 8)

“Of course, this result is not what we wanted or expected. So far this weekend, we have struggled a bit with the set-up of the bike and in all the sessions I’ve not been able to get into the top 10. Once again in qualifying I was not able to improve the lap time as we wanted, we were improving little by little, but I made a few mistakes as well. But even without those mistakes I’m not sure I could have made it into Q2, so we’re a bit disappointed with our performance. The weather forecast is a bit unstable for tomorrow, so we’ll have to prepare well for all conditions and see what we can do, I aim to get into the top 10.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

#ThaiGP Quali. Precious second row start for Jack. Following a crash in Q1, Pecco will start tomorrow from row 5

Jack Miller fights for the Top 5 in the qualifying for the Thailand Gran Prix and will start tomorrow from the second row (P6). Francesco Bagnaia seems to be able to get a place in Q2 but crashes in the second run of Q1.

Saturday at Buriram started with a heavy rain that made the FP3 practically useless, thus confirming the Friday’s standings. Jack – directly qualified to Q2 thanks to the 5th laptime set in FP2 – finds some traffic in the first run of qualifying and in the second time attack pushes to the maximum conquering a precious second row.

Pecco has to go through Q1 after the P12 of Friday’s free practices but after a first incisive run, he crashes at turn 7 and has to settle for 15th position.

Extremely positive indications for both Pramac Racing’s riders came from the FP4, held in dry conditions.

P15 – Pecco Bagnaia

I made a stupid mistake, losing the front. This weekend it was very important not to make mistakes but unfortunately it happened. However, I am convinced that we can fight for the Top 10 because the race pace in the FP4 was really encouraging. It will be necessary to start well tomorrow.

P6 – Jack Miller

I am satisfied with this result even though I have never been able to make a perfect lap. The boys were really strong so I have no regrets. The feeling is very good and if I have to be honest I am happier for what we did in the FP4. There is great confidence for tomorrow.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Second and third row starts for Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso, respectively fifth and seventh in qualifying for the Thailand Grand Prix at Buriram

Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso will start from rows 2 and 3 respectively for the Thailand Grand Prix, round 15 of the MotoGP World Championship scheduled to take place tomorrow at the Buriram International Circuit.

Petrucci, who was unable to improve on the eleventh quickest time he set yesterday because of the torrential rain that fell until just before the start of FP3, had to take part in Q1, in which he finished first with a time of 1’30.685. In Q2 Danilo then set a time of 1’30.522 to grab fifth place on the grid and a row 2 start for tomorrow’s race.

It was seventh quickest time and row 3 of the grid on the other hand for Dovizioso who, thanks to his eighth-quickest time yesterday, went through directly into Q2. Andrea recorded a time of 1’30.692 at the end of the final lap of his second run.

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1’30.522 (5th)

“Finally I was able to do a good qualifying session, despite the weather conditions this morning making it a bit difficult for us. We had to go through Q1, but I defended myself well and together with the team we did a great job. As I said yesterday, we have a good idea of the direction to work in and as a result I’m back amongst the grid positions where I should be. I’m very happy because I can see that things are beginning to function: I want to thank all the people who have been helping me, both in the racing department back in Bologna and in my team, and tomorrow I want to finish off the job we did today with a great result”.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1’30.692 (7th)

“My feeling with the bike is much better than yesterday and we were quite fast on used tyres, so I’ve got good sensations for tomorrow. Unfortunately, we were unable to get the best out of the new tyres in qualifying and so tomorrow I will start from the third row of the grid, but with a good start I think I can do a good race because it will be a long grand prix and there are a lot of us with a similar pace. We will decide on our strategy during the race, but we’ve been working well and I’m confident for tomorrow”.

The two factory Ducati riders will be back on track tomorrow, Sunday 6th October, at 9.40 am local time (04.40 CET) for the morning warm-up for the 26-lap race, which is scheduled to start at 14.00 local time (09.00 CET).

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:

MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA TAKE FIRST AND THIRD ROW IN THAI QUALIFYING

Buriram (Thailand), 5th October 2019

GRAND PRIX OF THAILAND

QUALIFYING

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi had to ride on the limit during today’s Q2 session at the Chang International Circuit. Viñales opted for a two-stop strategy and took second position on the grid for the PTT Thailand Grand Prix. Rossi suffered a small crash on his first run, which lost him some time. He ultimately qualified in ninth place.

2nd MAVERICK VIÑALES 1’29.825 / 9 LAPS

9th VALENTINO ROSSI 1’30.741 / 6 LAPS

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were both pushing 100 per cent today during Q2 at the Chang International Circuit, but it resulted in different outcomes. Maverick Viñales used a two-stop tactic to secure a spot on the front row for the PTT Thailand Grand Prix. Rossi was unlucky to have his bike wash out from under him on his first run. He had to make his way back to the box to switch to his second bike and ended up on the third row.

Viñales showed his hand right from the start of his pole challenge. He positioned his Yamaha firmly at the front on his first flying lap with a 1‘30.332s but was later pushed back to second as rivals completed their second hot lap.

Meanwhile the Spaniard returned to the pits with nine and a half minutes left. Not wanting to waste any time he leapt from his first to his second bike and was soon back out on track. He was pushing to the limit on his second run, setting a 1‘30.190s, but remained in third place. He had another go and improved his time once more to a 1‘30.096s, but it still wasn‘t enough.

With three minutes left, the number-12 rider made a second quick stop. Back on bike one, he had just enough time for one final try. He fully committed to putting his head down, dug deep, and dropped under the 1‘30s-mark, posting a 1‘29.825s which earned him second place on the grid, 0.106s from pole.

Rossi made a good start to the 15-minute Q2 session. He set a 1‘31.080s on his opening lap, putting him in fifth place initially, before he was pushed back to ninth. He set a personal best sector on his next attempt, but the bike washed out from under him in Turn 5.

Having to leave his preferred M1 behind, the Doctor hurried back to the pit box to return to the track on his second machine. With a little less than four minutes on the clock, the Italian was back on route. Getting into the groove again, he bettered his time to a 1‘31.019s but remained in tenth place and resumed the setting of personal best sectors. He clocked a 1‘30.741s on his penultimate lap, moving him up to ninth. Unable to further improve his time on his last effort, he kept his spot on the third row, 1.022 from first.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

“Today once again we saw the importance of being on your A-game on the Friday, because this morning‘s wet conditions made it impossible to improve our time and position in the combined free practice standings. Fortunately, our riders were both set to take part in Q2 and that gave us the opportunity to work on the wet set-up during FP3. This could be crucial as we don’t know what the weather will be like tomorrow during the race. Maverick has been really strong in all of today‘s sessions. His qualifying time, a 1‘29.825s, is a good lap, and P2 on the front row of the grid is a great place to start the race from. He has worked a lot riding under race conditions and he’s confident that he will be able to take part in tomorrow’s battle. Valentino was unlucky to get caught out in the middle of qualifying by the bumps in Turn 5. The incident cost him valuable time, so he ended in ninth place. It‘s a shame, because this position doesn‘t show his true potential. But the most important thing is that he‘s completely OK. Since the tyre choice is done for tomorrow, in the morning we will focus on fine-tuning the bike, changing some final details. But, like I said, the weather is uncertain, and it might play a big role in tomorrow’s race.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“The feeling is great, because considering our rhythm, and also on paper, we are in close contention for the victory. When it comes to one lap, we know our bike is good, so we profited from it again today. There are still some things to improve for the race. I’m feeling great on the bike, as I said, but we’re going to try to make another step tomorrow. Anyway, we are happy, we’re just one tenth from pole position and we’re getting many front rows these races, and that is important: to be consistent. It will help us improve and be better each race. I can see myself on the podium tomorrow, because on paper our rhythm is stronger than that of most of the others, but you never know. For sure, we’re going to fight for the victory from the first laps of the race.”

VALENTINO ROSSI

“The crash is a shame. Maybe we could have started from a bit better position, because my pace in FP4 wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately, during the qualifying on the first tyre I made a mistake and I was a bit wide, I think, and then lost the front on the bumps and crashed. So I came back to the box and went out with the other bike, but I didn’t have the same tyres. It wasn’t the perfect situation, but I was able to set a 1’30.7s so I’ll start from the third row. We hope for good weather tomorrow morning, because we have to try something, also for the race. My pace is not so bad, but there are four or five riders that are very close, so we’ll see.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Marquez to launch title challenge from Buriram front row

The Repsol Honda Team kept their cool after a wet and wild start to Saturday in Thailand, Marquez securing a front row start despite a crash and Lorenzo is ready to fight forward.

After delays of over an hour due to a heavy morning downpour, action eventually got underway in Buriram. Initially wet, the 4.6 kilometre long circuit was fast to dry and times continued to improve throughout the following sessions. Conditions improved sufficiently and both Free Practice 4 and qualifying were held in the dry.

A lack of dry running in the morning didn’t slow the MotoGP field come Q2 as riders quickly dropped in to the low 1’30s. Times continued to fall with Marquez setting a best time of 1’29.931 before beginning his final flying lap. Faster than his previously lap during the opening sectors, Marquez unfortunately suffered his second fall of the weekend with an off at Turn 5. Immediately to his feet, Marquez was unharmed and will line up third on the grid but a very productive Free Practice 4 session has Marc Marquez feeling confident for the race on Sunday.

Jorge Lorenzo was upbeat with how Saturday went in Thailand, despite being unable to improve his time from Friday for a spot in Q2 due to the weather. Setting his best lap time of the weekend, Lorenzo finished the Q1 session within a second of Petrucci and will start from 19th on the grid but believes he could have been at least a row higher had a mistake late in his flying lap not cost him several tenths.

Marquez begins Sunday’s 26-lap MotoGP race in Buriram from the front row with his first opportunity to wrap up the 2019 MotoGP World Championship. The Repsol Honda Team rider must out score Andrea Dovizioso by two points, a second career victory in Thailand will guarantee the title. Title rival Dovizioso starts seventh.

Marc Marquez

3RD 1’29.931

“Today was a very good day for us, apart from the small crash at the end of Qualifying. After the fall, physically I am OK. I have a little bit of pain but it’s no excuse for the race tomorrow. We have a very good pace and we kept working and pushing throughout the day for tomorrow’s important race. The crashes this weekend aren’t a problem, for tomorrow, we have good pace and we will treat it like any other race – aiming to fight for the podium and victory.”

Jorge Lorenzo

19TH 1’31.605

“The rain didn’t create the best conditions for the afternoon as the track was more slippery. We had to change the setting to compensate for this and we weren’t able to close the distance from pole. Anyway, in Qualifying I went faster than the whole weekend but we had an issue in the final braking after running on the kerb in the fast corner before. This lost me a few tenths and I think without this I could have been 16th which would have been my best grid position since Assen. We keep working!”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM:

BRAVE ESPARGARO MAKES THAI GRAND PRIX Q2 AND FILLS 11TH SPOT ON THE GRID

MotoGP 2019 – Round 15, Chang International Circuit (THA)

Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro defied pain and discomfort from a freshly operated left wrist in Thailand to enter Q2 and will line-up 11th on the grid at the fast Chang International Circuit in Buriram tomorrow.

Heat, humidity and stormy conditions were three ingredients that contributed to a close-run day of Free Practice and Qualification at the Chang International Circuit for the fifteenth round of nineteen in 2019 MotoGP. The PTT Thailand Grand Prix represented only the second visit to the country by the FIM MotoGP World Championship. Red Bull KTM tackled the new layout in Buriram, renowned already for it’s flat mix of fast straights and twisty sections, back to a two-rider roster with Pol Espargaro courageously returning to competitive duty less than two weeks after surgery to repair a fractured left radius bone.

Despite some discomfort the Spaniard was still able to circulate at a competitive rate. After morning rainfall the Q1 and Q2 sessions were run in the dry and Espargaro forced his way through to Q2 with a lap just over two tenths of a second behind Danilo Petrucci. Biding his time until the end of the Q2 chrono – that was marked with several crashes by other riders – Pol nursed his wrist and a medium rear tyre to classify just ahead of his brother in 11th. Tomorrow the 26 lap race of the 4.6km course will present a whole new challenge.

Teammate Mika Kallio was attempting just his second Grand Prix as a full-time replacement rider and spent two days searching for optimum rear grip but without much success. The Fin will head into the Grand Prix from 21st.

Miguel Oliveira took his Red Bull KTM Tech3 RC16 to 17th place on the grid. The Portuguese missed the Q2 cut-off by just eight tenths of a second and will start tomorrow’s race from the sixth row. Teammate Hafizh Syahrin is 22nd.

Pol Espargaro: “11th and not too bad for tomorrow’s race and, considering the injury, it is great to be here and to reach Q2. I’m satisfied. I have pain and the wrist is not normal and you have the sensation that something on your body is not working well but in the end I could manage to make an ‘ok’ lap in qualifying. I expected a little bit better but it was already a lot compared to how I was ten days ago! I don’t know how I will manage the race and which riders I will be fighting with. It looks like I will be close to my brother. I will take some painkillers and try to take it easy at the beginning of the race, try to be with low tension and nerves. I don’t want to push at the beginning and struggle at the end; that would be stupid. Less for more.”

Mika Kallio: “Unfortunately I am struggling a lot to get some grip on the rear. In Aragon I was not that happy and here it is even worse. We need to see what we can do tomorrow but we don’t have that much time any more. Maybe we can still try something: we will anyway because there is nothing to lose and hopefully we can be better in the race. Somehow we need to catch the grip.”

Miguel Oliveira: “To be honest, this was not the best Qualifying for us. All weekend, we are struggling with the rear therefore I couldn’t go as fast as I wanted. I’m quite disappointed about this small detail, which costs us a few tenths. It’s not ideal, but as always, we will try our best tomorrow in the race.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “It’s a big shame to see our final position in Qualifying but the pace we had in FP4 today and also in the Q1 itself, made me feel good. I was only missing a few tenths to improve my place but tomorrow is race day, which is more important. So, I hope I can be even more focused tomorrow and be ready for the race, which for sure will be hot and very long.”

Moto2 & Moto3

In Moto2 Red Bull KTM’s Brad Binder – winner of the last Grand Prix in Aragon – registered the 12th best time in Qualification 2 but was upstaged by teammate Jorge Martin who was 3rd fastest. The 2018 Moto3 World Champion and Moto2 rookie celebrated his first front row and highest Saturday effort of the season. SKY Racing Team VR46’s Celestino Vietti used his KTM RC4 to earn a first career Pole Position in Moto3 while Gaviota Angel Nieto Team’s Albert Arenas was also on the Buriram front line.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Quartararo continues his march through the record books with pole at Buriram

The rookie sets a new lap record in Thailand and becomes the youngest to take four premier class poles

Saturday, 05 October 2019

Despite a crash at the end of Q2 – a real rarity – Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) set a new lap record to qualify on pole position for the PTT Thailand Grand Prix, taking pole for the fourth time in his rookie season and becoming the youngest to do so. He also equals Jorge Lorenzo (2008) and Dani Pedrosa (2006) on number of rookie poles, with only Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) ahead of the three. Marquez was another crasher in Q2 in Thailand, however, and starts third, with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) splitting the two record breakers to take second on the grid and make it a Yamaha 1-2.

After a rain-soaked morning, it was a dry afternoon but the weather had left Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) marooned in Q1 after a tougher Friday and the Italian was on a mission to move through. That he did, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) joining the Mugello winner in the fight for pole.

That fight began with a Marquez vs Viñales vs Quartararo shootout and ultimately, that’s the way it would remain – although two of them would later improve. Early drama came from a crash for Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) at Turn 5, ‘The Doctor’ heading back to the pits for his other machine as the clock ticked down. And Viñales stayed out later than many, the Spaniard enjoying the track pretty much to himself for a couple of laps.

Then it was showtime and the final runs. Quartararo was on top and the rookie was soon back into the red challenging his own new record, but Marquez was on a charge too. As the clock ticked down though, the reining Champion couldn’t do anything about the rookie ahead of him as Quartararo did lower his time once again, and then drama hit for the number 93. He suffered another crash and suddenly slid out of the fight, pole position out of reach on the weekend where he has his first Championship point.

Despite the crash for his key rival, Quartararo was still pushing, and the Frenchman would then end his session in much the same way, although he was similarly straight up on his feet and ok. That just left Viñales to charge for the front and the Misano polesitter did improve, but it was only enough for second as he punted Marquez down a position.

Yamaha’s great weekend at Buriram continued as Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) took fourth to head up the second row, ahead of Petrucci, who put in a stellar performance in Q2 to start as top Ducati. It was close, however, with Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) just in sixth – and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) not far behind either. ‘DesmoDovi’ starts the pivotal PTT Thailand Grand Prix from seventh on the grid, from where he’ll be hoping to launch through the pack quickly and take the challenge to Marquez. The Spaniard’s only rival for the crown must stop Marquez scoring two more points than him on Sunday is the fight is to roll on to Japan.

Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) had an impressive Saturday to take P8 on the grid and once again get the better of more veteran teammate Alex Rins, with Rins down in tenth and Valentino Rossi splitting the two Hamamatsu factory machines. The number 46 is another who will be looking for more on Sunday, not able to recover much ground on his second bike after the crash.

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) took P11 and only completed one run in Q2 to let his injured wrist have a bit of a break, although he’s positive about going the distance on Sunday. Brother Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) took P12 to make it all six manufacturers in Q2.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was one surprise name to miss out, and the Brit starts 13th just ahead of teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu).

After a serious show of pace from the likes of Quartararo and Viñales on Saturday, Marquez has his work cut out to take the crown on race day in Thailand. Can he do it? Dovizioso will be one a charge to make sure he doesn’t, so tune in for the PTT Thailand Grand Prix from 14:00 (GMT +7) on the 6th October.

Marquez makes his mark for pole, Navarro faces a fight back

The Championship leader gives himself some breathing space at Buriram

Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) has qualified on pole for the PTT Thailand Grand Prix, pulling out all the stops to head the grid for the fifth time this season as the man second overall, Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up), had a tough Saturday at the office outside the top 20. Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) was second fastest as his impressive weekend continued, with reigning Moto3™ World Champion Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) taking third for his first front row start in his rookie season in the intermediate class.

Saturday started with torrential conditions, dried out and then threatened again for Moto2™. Under cloudier skies, Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) set a new lap record in Q1 to head fellow Q2 graduates Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), Marco Bezzecchi (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP), but more rain came down and put a spanner in the works for one title challenger.

Second in the Championship, Navarro was one of three riders who slid out, along with Mattia Pasini (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) and Joe Roberts (American Racing KTM), and although all riders were up and ok, it put a dent in their Saturday. Navarro will now start the PTT Thailand Grand Prix from outside the top 20 and will have his work cut out on Sunday.

Once into Q2 and the track dry again, Marquez put himself a cut above mid-session and wasn’t to be caught, despite having earlier crashed in FP3. Nagashima was within a tenth of the man leading the charge for the crown by the time the flag went out, however, and Martin, after a tougher rookie season so far, put in a stellar performance to take third and only a tenth and a half off the man who’s ruled the class this season.

Meanwhile on the second row, he may have been the fastest on Friday but Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) had to settle for fourth on the grid, although he remains in a good position to try and repeat his 2018 rostrum finish at the track. Remy Gardner made it both ONEXOX TKKR SAG teammates inside the top five in P5, with title contender Augusto Fernandez (FlexBox HP 40) firing in a late lap to complete the second row.

Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) heads up Row 3, the Spaniard getting the better of Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) in eighth as the Swiss veteran prepares for his first Moto2™ race at Chang International Circuit, having been in the premier class last season. Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) took P9. with Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM) completing the top ten.

Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) was P11 ahead of Aragon winner Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who had a tough day at the office, with home hero Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) losing ground on Saturday afternoon. Second quickest on Day 1, the Thai rider will line up in P13 – but expect a serious charge from him.

Marcel Schrötter and Andrea Locatelli complete the fastest fifteen in qualifying, ahead of Lowes, Bezzecchi and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Beta Tools Speed Up), who is having a difficult Thai GP so far.

That can still all change on Sunday, however, so tune in for the intermediate class race at 12:20 (GMT +7), where Marquez will be pushing to extend his lead, Navarro will be on the fight back and Chantra will be on an absolute charge on home turf.

Vietti takes maiden pole in a mad last dash at Buriram

Italian tops Q1 before timing his final lap to perfection to take his first ever pole position

Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) will start the PTT Thailand Grand Prix from his maiden pole position as the Italian pulled off a perfect final assault in Q2, pulling a tenth clear of the pack to become the 10th different polesitter since the opening race in Qatar – a record in a single Moto3™ season, equalling 2016. He’s also the first rookie to start from pole in the class since Joan Mir at the 2016 Austrian GP, and will have Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) and Albert Arenas (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) for company on the front row.

After an almighty downpour on Saturday morning, the track had dried out by the time the lightweight class headed out for Q1, with the sun back beating down on Buriram. In that first qualifying session it was Vietti who led the way, the Italian topping the session and joined in Q2 by John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Raul Fernandez (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) and Filip Salač (Redox PrüstelGP). Rookie Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) was one man to lose out, a crash for the Aragon podium finisher seeing him end Q1 in tenth.

With the final 18 then back on track for Q2, the fight for pole was well and truly on. After the first runs it was Championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) who sat on top, but that would all change in the last frantic dash as the timesheets took another shuffle and first Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), then Arenas and then, finally, Vietti blasted to the top.

Behind the maiden polesitter, Ramirez slotted into second and pushed Arenas down to P3 as the two Spaniards complete the front row, with Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) impressing to head the second row as he continues his bounce back from injury. Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) continued his better pace of late to go fifth fastest, with Canet pushed down to the outside of the second row. For the Championship challenger, however, it remains an impressive result as Canet missed the first Thai Grand Prix last year due to injury.

Friday’s fastest man, Andrea Migno (Mugen Race) heads up the third row ahead of Rodrigo, with Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) team taking ninth. Championship leader Dalla Porta was tenth quickest and will want to make some forward progress on race day, joined on the fourth row by Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46), who took his maiden podium at Buriram last year.

John McPhee (Petronas Yamaha SRT) took P13, just ahead of Raul Fernandez and Makar Yurchenko (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race). The two riders who were 14th and 15th in Q2, Filip Salač and teammate Jakub Kornfeil, both serve grid penalties and will start 27th and 25th respectively.

Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) is another rider who was in Q2 with a penalty to serve and he’ll be penultimate on the grid, with only Riccardo Rossi (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) behind him after the Italian was also given a back of the grid start. Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) takes his six-place grid penalty given at Aragon and starts 26th.

That’s a wrap on Saturday at Chang International Circuit, tune in on Sunday when Moto3™ go racing at 11:00 (GMT +2).

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