THAI GP - Bautista stakes his claim amongst the best2018-10-07 10:02
Marc Márquez continues to write history and on a weekend that could see him place a hand on his fifth MotoGP World Championship title, he became the first rider ever to progress from Q1 and go on to take pole position. Márquez himself came closest to it in the past, having gone from Q1 qualification to take second in Barcelona, but today he went one better to head up the front row from Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso. Rossi, who qualified eighteenth in Aragón, and his teammate Maverick Viñales have been back amongst the frontrunners again all weekend here.
Álvaro Bautista staked his claim in Q2 in Thailand, securing a place on the front four rows for the fifth time this season. The Ángel Nieto Team rider was tenth fastest in free practice but could progress no higher than twelfth in the decisive qualifying session, after running wide in the final corner of his final flying lap. His teammate Karel Abraham secured his best position of the weekend so far, qualifying seventeenth to equal his grid position at Aragón. The Czech rider is confident that he has the set-up to take advantage of his grid position and fight for the points in the first ever Grand Prix of Thailand.
12th Álvaro Bautista 1’30.976: “Today we managed to qualify directly for Q2, which was one of our objectives. We tried the hard rear tyre in FP4 after going with the soft in the morning, which in the end it was sliding a little. Generally, I am not too keen on the hard option but with the conditions we have here in Thailand the feeling wasn’t so bad. In any case, we will try the medium in the warm-up tomorrow and see if it gives us more grip and stability than the other two. In Q2 I struggled a little more than I expected to set a fast lap and on my final lap I ran wide in the last corner when I was set to improve by a couple of tenths. Even so, our race pace is better than our one-lap pace. I am not setting a target because many things can happen, like at Aragón where we were in good shape and I crashed. We will just try to give our maximum.”
17th Karel Abraham 1’32.374: “I am happy because in qualifying we achieved our best position of the weekend. It is the same grid position that we had in Aragón and I think it gives us a good chance tomorrow to fight for the points. In FP4 I had a little crash but managed to escape any major damage to myself or the bike. Tomorrow I am expecting a difficult race because of the temperatures but I think we start from a good base.”
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