Jorge Martín will start the Thailand MotoGP from pole position after hooking it up on his final time attack to put considerable distance between himself and title rival Pecco Bagnaia at the Chang International Circuit.
With four rounds and eight races of the 2023 MotoGP season to go, Martin - who comes into this event chasing down a 27 point margin to series leader Bagnaia - was again in fine form over a single lap to see off the challenge from Luca Marini and Aleix Espargaró.
Though he came into this session as the firm favourite after dominating practice, Martin was still made to work hard for his pole position after Marco Bezzecchi repeatedly usurped him with a new benchmark to aim for over the course of the Q2 session.
However, when the VR46 Ducati rider fumbled his final time attack and ran off course, it opened the door for Martin to strike with a 1m 29.287s lap.
A new lap record around the Buriram circuit, it put almost two tenths between himself and Marini, who emerged from the late flyers with a surprise second fastest time on his year-old Ducati, while Espargaro also squeezed ahead of Bezzecchi late on despite he too running off track in the latter stages.
Bezzecchi will therefore get away from fourth on the grid, the Italian joined on row two by Brad Binder, who maintained his strong run of qualifying form on the factory KTM, while Bagnaia played no part in the battle for pole as he settled for a modest sixth fastest.
Having progressed through Q1, the Marquez brothers will start alongside one another in seventh and eighth, Alex leading Marc, while Fabio Quartararo completes row three on the factory Yamaha.
One of the leading contenders for pole position according to the practice timesheets, Maverick Viñales could only manage tenth when it mattered, ahead of Australian MotoGP race winner Johann Zarco and Augusto Fernandez, the GasGas Tech3 rider unable to make his maiden direct Q2 appearance count as he laboured to 12th.
In a remarkably close Q1 session, Fabio di Giannantonio was dumped out of the Q2 reckoning late on by his Gresini Ducati team-mate Álex Márquez to be left 13th on the grid, the Italian - star of Phillip Island - sharing row five with Raúl Fernández and Jack Miller, the latter irritated at being towed by a typically determined Marquez.
|2023 Australian MotoGP | Chang International Circuit, Buriram | Qualifying Results | Round 17 of 20|
|1||Jorge Martin||🇪🇦||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23||1m 29.287|
|2||Luca Marini||🇮🇹||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22||1m 29.425|
|3||Aleix Espargaro||🇪🇦||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 29.461|
|4||Marco Bezzecchi||🇮🇹||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22||1m 29.483|
|5||Brad Binder||🇿🇦||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16||1m 29.496|
|6||Pecco Bagnaia||🇮🇹||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati GP23||1m 29.527|
|7||Alex Marquez||🇪🇦||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22||1m 29.600|
|8||Marc Marquez||🇪🇦||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||1m 29.622|
|9||Fabio Quartararo||🇨🇵||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1||1m 29.701|
|10||Maverick Vinales||🇪🇦||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 29.707|
|11||Johann Zarco||🇨🇵||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23||1m 29.923|
|12||Augusto Fernandez||🇪🇦||GasGas Factory Racing Tech3||KTM RC16||1m 30.077|
|13||Fabio di Giannantonio||🇮🇹||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22||1m 29.850|
|14||Raul Fernandez||🇪🇦||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 29.914|
|15||Jack Miller||🇦🇺||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16||1m 30.096|
|16||Takaaki Nakagami||🇯🇵||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda RC213V||1m 30.115|
|17||Pol Espargaro||🇪🇦||GasGas Factory Racing Tech3||KTM RC16||1m 30.124|
|18||Franco Morbidelli||🇮🇹||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1||1m 30.158|
|19||Joan Mir||🇪🇦||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||1m 30.263|
|20||Miguel Oliveira||🇵🇹||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 30.442|
|21||Enea Bastianini||🇮🇹||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati GP23||1m 30.677|
|W||Alex Rins||🇪🇦||LCR Honda Castrol||Honda RC213V|