Thailand MotoGP FP Results: Quartararo sets pace as Marquez returns

Marc Marquez bounces back from his huge accident in Thailand MotoGP FP1 to show impressive pace in FP2 as Fabio Quartararo leads Yamaha 1-2-3 in Buriram

Fabio Quartararo - Petronas SRT Yamaha

Fabio Quartararo continued his remarkable record of topping free practice sessions in his rookie MotoGP World Championship campaign as he topped FP2 at the Chang International Circuit, while Marc Marquez bounced back from his hospitalising FP1 crash to prove competitive.

The Frenchman powered to the top of the timesheets in the closing stages, the Petronas SRT Yamaha rider’s 1m 30.404s lap just over a tenth quicker than the opposition.

Quartararo led a dominant Yamaha 1-2-3 as the M1 once more showed itself to have impressive single lap performance despite the top speed disadvantage to the likes of Honda and Ducati that have harmed it in recent races.

Maverick Vinales was second quickest on the factory Yamaha, followed closely by the second Petronas SRT machine of Franco Morbidelli in third place.

Jack Miller, a podium winner last time out in Aragon, left it late to haul himself into fourth position on another indifferent day for Ducati around a circuit it is expected to sparkle on, with factory rider Andrea Dovizioso also making progress in the final seconds to secure eighth.

Valentino Rossi made it four Yamahas inside the top five in fifth place. 

From hospital bed to top of timesheets for Marquez

Indeed, all eyes were on Marquez coming into FP2. Prior to the session getting underway, the champion-elect was last seen being stretchered to the medical centre after a huge crash in FP1 that necessitated a trip to the hospital for a check-up.

Back on the bike for FP2, Marquez showed no ill-effects from the leg and back strain he picked up in the incident, sitting at the top of the timesheets for much of the session before being demoted to sixth place albeit because he opted to stay on a race simulation rather than fit soft tyres for a single lap attempt. 

In seventh, Aleix Espargaro hinted that Aprilia’s impressive Aragon pace may be more of a breakthrough than he acknowledged, while Joan Mir and Alex Rins got both Suzuki entries into the provisional Q2 positions in ninth and tenth.

Rain to scupper Q2 challenge?

Indeed, just as it was in Aragon, these FP2 lap times could prove critical as rain is predicted at some stage on Saturday morning.

Those hoping the weather doesn’t break include Danilo Petrucci, who endured yet another difficult day on the factory Ducati in 11th, just ahead of Pecco Bagnaia on the 2018 specification machine in 12th.

Cal Crutchlow and Takaaki Nakagami struggled for LCR Honda in 13th and 14th, though fared better than the perennially struggling Jorge Lorenzo down in 20th, while KTM also suffered a tricky day with the injured Pol Espargaro its best representative in 15th.

Thailand MotoGP Free Practice Results

Thailand MotoGP - Buriram FP1 / FP2 Results [Combined]
1Fabio QuartararoFRAPetronas Yamaha YZR-M11m 30.404
2Maverick ViñalesSPAMonster Yamaha YZR-M11m 30.597
3Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas Yamaha YZR-M11m 30.625
4Jack MillerAUSPramac Ducati GP191m 30.698
5Valentino RossiITAMonster Yamaha YZR-M11m 30.733
6Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda RC213V1m 30.891
7Aleix EspargaroSPAFactory Aprilia Gresini RS-GP1m 31.007
8Andrea DoviziosoITADucati Team GP191m 31.027
9Joan MirESPSuzuki Ecstar GSX-RR 1m 31.086
10Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar GSX-RR1m 31.094
11Danilo PetrucciITADucati Team GP191m 31.115
12Francesco BagnaiaITAPramac Ducati GP18 1m 31.154
13Cal CrutchlowGBRLCR Honda RC213V1m 31.344
14Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR IDEMITSU Honda RC213V1m 31.424
15Pol EspargaroSPARed Bull KTM Factory RC161m 31.499
16Andrea IannoneITAFactory Aprilia Gresini RS-GP1m 31.512
17Karel AbrahamCZEReale Avintia Ducati GP181m 31.588
18Tito RabatSPAReale Avintia Ducati GP181m 31.932
19Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM Tech3 RC161m 31.936
20Jorge LorenzoESPRepsol Honda RC213V1m 31.949
21Mika KallioFINRed Bull KTM Factory RC161m 31.991
22Hafizh SyahrinMALRed Bull KTM Tech3 RC161m 32.584