Results and summary of the Moto3 race in Buriram:
So far, the inaugural Thai round of MotoGP has been full of surprises. We expected heavy rain at the track on most days, but it has been pretty much dry as a bone throughout. We expected Yamaha to be nowhere, yet the Movistar duo of Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi have looked seriously threatening all weekend. We expected the round to be popular: the only surprise here is just how popular it has been. An estimated 65,000 fans came to watch qualifying on Saturday. To put that into perspective, that is more fans for qualifying than fans on race day at six of last year's rounds. Nearly twice as many as fans on race day at Phillip Island. Sunday should be packed, with a good chance that this will be the round with the highest attendance.
The hot weather has taken Michelin by surprise as well, not for the first time this year. That is hardly Michelin's fault, however: after they introduced several changes during the 2017 season, the teams demanded that Michelin set the tire allocation at the start of the year. That demand is coming back to bite the teams, as it is hard to get the allocation absolutely spot on if you have to predict the weather many months in advance. The hot European summer has caused problems on occasion, and now the heat in Thailand is doing the same.
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class in Buriram:
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class in Buriram:
Yamaha got a taste for some headlines after stealing the spotlight on Friday and Maverick Viñales seemed to forget that his bike used to suffer in hot slippery conditions and set camp at the front of the pack straight out the gates – only to be quickly demoted by teammate Valentino Rossi once the Spaniard took to the pits. The Yamaha charge was stopped by Andrea Iannone of all people once the Italian picked the pocket of his compatriot. Ultimately it was a pointless exercise once the title rivals swapped rubber and attacked the top of the charts.
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto3 class in Buriram:
The final casual outing for the intermediate class was a more subdued affair but a couple of riders did manage to improve on Friday times and find some gains on race pace. The difference was minimal, Fabio Quartararo finding the right tow to pick up the lead halfway through the session and keep it at the checkered flag. Ironically, the man who aided Quartararo along the straights in his bid for the lead struggled to drag himself into the top 15 for much of the session.