Thailand MotoGP Qualifying Results: Quartararo takes pole amid crashes

Thailand MotoGP, Buriram - Qualifying Results: Fabio Quartararo takes a pole position in Thailand despite crash as Marc Marquez also falls

Fabio Quartararo - Petronas SRT Yamaha

Rookie Fabio Quartararo has taken pole position for the Thailand MotoGP after prevailing in a dramatic qualifying session that saw himself, Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi all crash at the same corner.

The Frenchman was attempting to better his provisional pole position, which he had set moments earlier, when the front folded as he rounded Turn 5 on his last flying lap and he slid off into the gravel trap.

However, with his incident – which came in the final minute – occurring shortly after his main rival for the top spot Marquez suffered an identical crash at exactly the same corner, there was no-one who could challenge his Q2-topping 1m 29.719s.

An eventful end to a competitive session, what looked like being a Quartararo versus Marquez battle for pole position turned into alarming moments for both as they pushed the limit on a circuit seemingly lacking grip following heavy downpours earlier in the day.

Marquez was the first to tumble, the Spaniard up in the first two sectors before losing the front of the Repsol Honda and being left with no chance to get back round for a final attempt. His second crash of the weekend, but nowhere near as damaging as his Friday high-side, Marquez got back up unaided just as Quartararo set a new benchmark.

Valentino Rossi trails Yamaha team-mates after crash

Fortunately for Quartararo, Maverick Vinales - the only other rider with the pace that could have unsettled him – would end up a tenth short, though it was enough for the Yamaha rider to bump Marquez down to third place.

A session of mixed emotions for Yamaha, Franco Morbidelli made it three M1s inside the top four with a rapid run to fourth, albeit seven tenths from his pole-winning Petronas SRT team-mate.

Valentino Rossi, however, has work to do from ninth on the grid after he was the first of three riders to fall victim to the Turn 5 left-hander. The Italian returned to the pits in time to use his spare bike but couldn’t improve, ending the session more than a second from the top spot.

Marc Marquez well placed to wrap up title

Despite his fall, Marquez remains well positioned to seal the 2019 MotoGP World Championship in Thailand with Andrea Dovizioso only seventh on the grid and behind his two Ducati counterparts Danilo Petrucci – who enjoyed an upturn in fortunes with fifth via Q1 – and Jack Miller.

Marquez needs to out-score Dovizioso by just two points this weekend to secure the title.

Joan Mir out-qualified Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins to sit eighth and tenth respectively, while brothers Pol Espargaro on the KTM and Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia ensured all six manufacturers featured in Q2.

With morning rain preventing any improvements in FP3, those outside the top ten after FP2 had to attempt to progress via Q1. Cal Crutchlow was on course to make it with his final lap before a wobble into the final corner put paid to that, the Briton starting 13th alongside his LCR Honda team-mate Takaaki Nakagami in 14th.

Elsewhere, Pecco Bagnaia was another to crash in qualifying to leave him 15th, while Jorge Lorenzo enjoyed one of his better single lap efforts of the season, albeit still down in 19th.

2019 Thailand MotoGP Qualifying Results

Thailand MotoGP - Buriram Qualifying Results
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
10Danilo PetrucciITADucati Team GP191m 31.115
10Pol EspargaroSPARed Bull KTM Factory RC161m 31.154
13Cal CrutchlowGBRLCR Honda RC213V1m 30.969
14Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR IDEMITSU Honda RC213V1m 31.388
15Francesco BagnaiaITAPramac Ducati GP18 1m 31.416
16Andrea IannoneITAFactory Aprilia Gresini RS-GP1m 31.428
17Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM Tech3 RC16=1m 31.499
18Tito RabatSPAReale Avintia Ducati GP181m 31.554
19Jorge LorenzoESPRepsol Honda RC213V1m 31.605
20Karel AbrahamCZEReale Avintia Ducati GP181m 31.773
21Mika KallioFINRed Bull KTM Factory RC161m 31.849
22Hafizh SyahrinMALRed Bull KTM Tech3 RC161m 31.979