Jorge Martin enjoyed a strong but nervy start to a crucial Thailand MotoGP weekend as he topped the timesheets at the end of Friday Practice, but not without taking a trip through the gravel trap too.
The Spaniard, who with four rounds and eight races remaining trails Pecco Bagnaia by 27 points in the overall standings, hit the front in the closing stages with a top time attack of 1m 29.826s.
However, just moments after setting the benchmark he’d find himself crashing out at Turn 3 in what will be a nervous reprisal of his exit from the Indonesian MotoGP while leading.
Even so, he remained quickest of all in a session dominated by the European manufacturers again with Aprilia Racing duo Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro chasing him in second and third as the only other riders able to get under 1m 30secs.
A quartet of Ducatis followed up between fourth and seventh with Australian MotoGP winner Johann Zarco complementing his Pramac Racing team-mate in fourth, ahead of Mooney VR46 Racing duo Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi.
Crucially, seventh went to Bagnaia, the points’ leader cracking the top ten to assure himself safe passage through to Q2 directly, an improvement on his Friday afternoon performances in Indonesia and Australia.
Fabio Quartararo broke the European deadlock in eighth place on the factory Yamaha, ahead of Brad Binder and Augusto Fernandez, the latter GasGas Tech3 rider reaching Q2 automatically for the first time this season.
Behind them, Marc Marquez picked up a painful shoulder after being clipped by a wing that had worked itself off Martin’s Ducati en route to 11th, ahead of Franco Morbidelli and Jack Miller
|2023 Australian MotoGP | Chang International Circuit, Buriram | Practice Results | Round 17 of 20|
|1||Jorge Martin||🇪🇦||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23||1m 29.826|
|2||Maverick Vinales||🇪🇦||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 29.924|
|3||Aleix Espargaro||🇪🇦||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 29.986|
|4||Johann Zarco||🇨🇵||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23||1m 30.006|
|5||Luca Marini||🇮🇹||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22||1m 30.025|
|6||Marco Bezzecchi||🇮🇹||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22||1m 30034|
|7||Pecco Bagnaia||🇮🇹||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati GP23||1m 30.069|
|8||Fabio Quartararo||🇨🇵||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1||1m 30.074|
|9||Brad Binder||🇿🇦||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16||1m 30.121|
|10||Augusto Fernandez||🇪🇦||GasGas Factory Racing Tech3||KTM RC16||1m 30.130|
|11||Marc Marquez||🇪🇦||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||1m 30.195|
|12||Franco Morbidelli||🇮🇹||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1||1m 30.217|
|13||Jack Miller||🇦🇺||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16||1m 30.224|
|14||Fabio di Giannantonio||🇮🇹||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22||1m 30.262|
|15||Pol Espargaro||🇪🇦||GasGas Factory Racing Tech3||KTM RC16||1m 30.268|
|16||Joan Mir||🇪🇦||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||1m 30.295|
|17||Raul Fernandez||🇪🇦||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 30.343|
|18||Alex Marquez||🇪🇦||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22||1m 30.367|
|19||Enea Bastianini||🇮🇹||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati GP23||1m 30.915|
|20||Takaaki Nakagami||🇯🇵||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda RC213V||1m 30.990|
|21||Miguel Oliveira||🇵🇹||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 31.104|
|W||Alex Rins||🇪🇦||LCR Honda Castrol||Honda RC213V|