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Thailand MotoGP, Qualifying | Martin ramps up pressure with Buriram pole, Bagnaia sixth

Gold & Goose
Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing, Ducati GP23, 2023 MotoGP, Thailand MotoGP, Buriram, action [Gold & Goose]

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
Pos.NameNat.TeamBikeLap Time
1Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 29.287
2Luca Marini🇮🇹Mooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 29.425
3Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 29.461
4Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Mooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 29.483
5Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 29.496
6Pecco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP231m 29.527
7Alex Marquez🇪🇦Gresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 29.600
8Marc Marquez🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 29.622
9Fabio Quartararo🇨🇵Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 29.701
10Maverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 29.707
11Johann Zarco🇨🇵Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 29.923
12Augusto Fernandez🇪🇦GasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC161m 30.077
13Fabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Gresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 29.850
14Raul Fernandez🇪🇦CryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 29.914
15Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 30.096
16Takaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda RC213V1m 30.115
17Pol Espargaro🇪🇦GasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC161m 30.124
18Franco Morbidelli🇮🇹Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 30.158
19Joan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 30.263
20Miguel Oliveira🇵🇹CryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 30.442
21Enea Bastianini🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP231m 30.677
WAlex Rins🇪🇦LCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V

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