2018 Buriram MotoGP Qualifying Result: Piling Up Records

The battle for the honour of writing one’s name on the first official fastest lap around the Chang International Circuit was about as hot as the thermometer as soon as Q1 unfolded, Marc Marquez’s unlikely adventures in the first qualifying session seeing him disappear ahead of the opposition by a full second and posting what proved to be the fastest time of the weekend. A quick rest and the world champion was right back on the gas, opening Q2 with some spectacular moves at the top of the timesheets and closing it as the first rider in history to take pole position after coming through Q1 – as well as his 50th Tissot in the premier class.

The final attack came with a red sector recital throughout the pack but the battle came down to the three names headlining their factories’ efforts: Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso. Marquez missed out on a final flying lap due to yet another big moment and his pole looked under threat but rivals struggled to find that extra bit of time on their final laps. Nonetheless, the reigning world champion will have Rossi and Dovizioso breathing down his neck from the front row. If Dovizioso had been undeniably and predictably fast throughout the weekend, Rossi brought home a performance that he himself was probably not expecting, losing out on pole by a mere hundredth of a second.

Teammate Maverick Viñales also looked like a challenger until the checkered flag but was hindered by a niggle with his second soft tyre and lost some precious track time as he swapped to his other bike. Even so, the Spaniard was only a tenth off front row and opening an elite row two in the company of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Iannone.

Dani Pedrosa was less than four tenths off his leading teammate and will start his first and only Thai GP from the front of row three, putting his Honda ahead of the Yamaha of Johann Zarco and the Ducati of Danilo Petrucci. Jack Miller rounded out the top ten, with Alex Rins coming through Q1 in the world champion’s shadow and getting the best of Alvaro Bautista on the fourth row of the grid. Lead rookie Franco Morbidelli was best of the rest and missed out on Q2 by only two thousandths of a second.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'30.088    
2 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'30.099 0.011 0.011
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'30.227 0.139 0.128
4 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'30.328 0.240 0.101
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'30.356 0.268 0.028
6 29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 1'30.419 0.331 0.063
7 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'30.458 0.370 0.039
8 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha 1'30.471 0.383 0.013
9 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'30.599 0.511 0.128
10 43 Jack MILLER Ducati 1'30.660 0.572 0.061
11 42 Alex RINS Suzuki 1'30.738 0.650 0.078
12 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 1'30.976 0.888 0.238
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'30.031    
Q2 42 Alex RINS Suzuki 1'30.921 0.890 0.890
13 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Honda 1'30.923 0.892 0.002
14 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 1'30.995 0.964 0.072
15 38 Bradley SMITH KTM 1'31.207 1.176 0.212
16 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 1'31.243 1.212 0.036
17 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1'31.374 1.343 0.131
18 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha 1'31.389 1.358 0.015
19 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'31.399 1.368 0.010
20 10 Xavier SIMEON Ducati 1'31.686 1.655 0.287
21 81 Jordi TORRES Ducati 1'31.819 1.788 0.133
22 12 Thomas LUTHI Honda 1'31.830 1.799 0.011
23 45 Scott REDDING Aprilia 1'31.835 1.804 0.005
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... Zara, but someone did cope with MM speed in the final 2 sectors...   When you look at the sectors  breakdown sheet T3 and T4 don't have Marquez name on top... Just saying....

So... When Michelin brings a new tyre slightly more similar  to Bridgestone we witness born again Yamahas....  Not that this makes any difference. It's too late. And tyres were/are not the only problem.

Still, to look at the Italian almost steal pole makes me even angrier thinking at two wasted years and the even better show we could have had with two competitive Yamaha in the mix. 

Rather boring circuit. The good news : all racers will be so busy nursing the tires that we might have a slow race hence many bikes in the fight. Or maybe just a very long painful procession and then Marquez takes it up a notch  gets away and wins...