Looked at objectively, motorcycle racing is a pointless exercise. Sure, it has some benefits. The engineering involved helps make motorcycles better, safer, and more efficient. The determination of riders to return to action as quickly as possible makes them willing guinea pigs for medical science to try out new ideas for faster and better recovery from injury. But in the grand scheme of things, being able to ride a motorcycle around a track faster than anyone else is fairly meaningless.
Unsurprisingly, that is not how the actual competitors see it. For motorcycle racers, being able to go around a track faster than anyone else is the most important thing in the world. To paraphrase former Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly, it is not a matter of life and death, it's more important than that. That is precisely how riders end up as willing guinea pigs for medical science. As Marc Márquez explained to Spanish journalist Mela Chercoles in the sports daily AS, "to understand the limits of the bike, you have to accept that if it takes 25 crashes to understand, then you have to be willing to crash 25 times in a season."
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class at Buriram:
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Buriram:
The premier class were keen to enjoy some more dry track time after rain washed away some of the grip on offer and it wasn’t just asphalt that got hot but also Marc Marquez’s pace. The world champion showed once again that his spectacular FP1 incident was all forgotten, his Honda wobbling once again around turn 4 and floating on the front tyre into turn 12 all while Marquez was riding an impressive pace in the high 1:30s – low 1:31s on the overwhelmingly popular hard front-soft rear tyre combination.
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto3 class at Buriram:
As a result of the previous rain delay that affected all of Saturday’s action, the intermediate class got their practice time shortened to 30 minutes. Unlike their colleagues before them, Moto2 riders were able to go out on slick tyres straight away, the track rapidly drying after the morning’s flood, but it was touch and go whether any improvements on Friday’s times were to be found. Alex Marquez and Tetsuta Nagashima were fairly familiar faces at the top of the standings for the first part of the session, before the final push on fresh tyres brought plenty of new names in play.
The premier class got their very first taster of a wet Chang International Circuit after a significant delay to the day’s action and another handful of minutes ahead of the MotoGP session to clear puddles mainly at turn one. With the session also reduced to 35 minutes, Marc Marquez got straight down to business, immediately two seconds faster than the opposition in the tricky conditions. Rivals rushed to bridge the gap of Golden Gate proportions and Ducati got the job done, aided by the couple of moments that slowed down the world champion for the next few laps.