Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo posted the outright lap record to take his first MotoGP pole position since June with both the Frenchman and Marc Marquez crashing on their final laps at Buriram.
Marquez was the first man out and laid down an early marker, which was soon beaten by Maverick Vinales. Marquez’ second lap then saw him take the top spot back from the factory Yamaha man. Quartararo was the next man up and the first man to ever post a lap in the 1:29’s around the Thai circuit with a 1’29.920 to sit in the provisional pole position. Marquez continued to push and posted his personal best lap; however, it wasn’t enough to take back the pole position from the Frenchman.
After a pause with riders in the pit, the final laps were flying in and Marquez found himself fastest by a quarter of a second. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, just as he ticked through the second checkpoint, Marquez lost the front end of his RC213V, crashing out at turn five. It was a much easier crash for Marquez to manage than his bruised yesterday, but his session was over.
Just as Marquez was crashing out, Quartararo then took another two tenths of his lap time to go even faster, this time posting a 1:29.719, leaving him on the pole position by nearly three tenths of a second.
Quartararo continued to push and much like Marquez he found himself fastest by 0.070 seconds. Much like Marquez, Quartararo also lost the front end of his bike in turn five, thankfully walking away unharmed.
Maverick Vinales was posting his fastest time of the session, running neck and neck with Quartararo’s time, and despite posting his fastest time, it was only good enough for second place, splitting Quartararo and Marquez on the front row.
Franco Morbidelli backed up his strong free practice sessions, qualifying in fourth place on his M1, ahead of the Ducati duo of Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller. Andrea Dovizioso will have his work cut out if he is to make Marquez wait to claim his eighth World Championship, starting from the third row in seventh place. Joan Mir will start from eighth with Valentino Rossi down in ninth. The Italian was another victim of turn five, crashing out early in the session.
Alex Rins will head the third row in tenth position ahead of the two Espargaro brother, with Pol getting the better of his older brother.