Thailand Grand Prix

7 October 2018
Chang Circuit in Thailand

Thai thriller decided on the last corner of the last lap

Marc Márquez took victory in Thailand's inaugural Grand Prix, passing Andrea Dovizioso on the last corner of the final lap. It is inevitable that he will be crowned the 2018 MotoGP champion.

First Free Practice was a surprise as Yamaha get a one two with Maverick Viñales going fastest

Maverick Viñales led a MoviStar Yamaha one two in Free Practice 1 for the inaugural MotoGP Thailand Grand Prix. Second his Teammate Valentino Rossi was just 0.270 seconds behind him.

At the start of FP1, Márquez set an early fast time, quick enough to remain for nearly the whole session. Only to have Viñales better his time in the last few minutes with his late time attack.

Márquez set a time of 1 minute 32.485 seconds, before going even faster with a time of 1 minute 31.970 seconds 0.9 of a second quicker than Jack Miller on his Alma Pramac Ducati.

Danilo Petrucci Miller's teammate cut Márquez's gap to 0.138 of a second and leapt up to second. Then Andrea Iannone Ecstar Suzuki bettered him by just 0.005 of a second.

Márquez went faster to over three tenths with a time of 1 minute 31.739 seconds then Iannone closed the gap.

Márquez increased his lead over Iannone to 0.192 seconds with 16 minutes left and kept it at the top of the timesheets until the last two minutes.

Viñales team put on a fresh soft slick rear tyre near the end of the session, and he used it to go from sixth to the top with a time of 1minute 31.220 seconds.

Rossi started slowly out of the top 10 for much of FP1. Then his team sent him out on bike number two with a fresh medium rear and he was able to go much quicker and got up to second. Andrea Dovizioso on his Factory Ducati was always amongst the top four and finished up third two tenths behind fellow Italian, Rossi.

Márquez began his race set-up and race distance simulation, deciding not to go for a late time attack which dropped him down to sixth with his earlier time of 1 minute 31.668 seconds, Jack Miller and Johann Zarco sandwiched him in fourth and sixth.

Seventh was Ecstar Suzuki's Andrea Iannone who was ahead of Japanese rookie Takaaki Nakagami riding his LCR Honda Idemitsu to an impressive eighth. Petrucci and Aprilia's Scott Redding, who earlier this week announced his plans for 2019 he going from MotoGP to the British Superbike Championship with Paul Birds PBM Ducati team.

Dani Pedrosa on the second Repsol Honda, although he was the fastest in the February Thailand tests was well down in 13th. Back after his Aragon foot injury, Jorge Lorenzo made a slow and steady start to his time at the Chang International Circuit on his Factory Ducati finishing down in 17th and 1 minute 3 seconds off Viñales time.

After Lorenzo was the other rider back after an Aragon injury, Pol Espargaró, KTM rider he missed the Aragon race while he had surgery after re-breaking his collarbone in a practice crash. MV Augusta's World Superbike rider, Jordi Torres is the replacement rider for the injured Tito Rabat once again. He finished in 24th closer to his now team-mate Xavier Simon only 0.134 of a second slower, so he's getting to grips with the Reale Avintia Racing MotoGP Ducati.

MotoGP Free Practice 1 Classification

Buriram, Friday 5 October 2018

In FP2 Andrea Dovizioso Beats Viñales As Lorenzo Suffers Huge High-Side In A Red-Flagged Session at Buriram

Andrea Dovizioso pushed out FP1's fastest rider Maverick Viñales to take top spot while Jorge Lorenzo suffered a nasty high-side which triggered a red-flag stoppage.

Dovi, the Italian rider produced a late flying lap to grab the top spot with a 1minute 31.090 seconds lap to beat Viñales by just 0.031 seconds using new soft front and rear tyres with the Movistar Yamaha setting his best lap time on hard front and rear tyres.

Alma Pramac's Jack Miller set the early pace in a scorching FP2 with a 1 minute 33.161 seconds, though that was immediately usurped by his team-mate Danilo Petrucci by 0.020 of a second.

Márquez, who was fifth in FP1 after choosing not to go for a time attack, shot to the top of the times soon after on fresh soft slick tyres with a 1 minute 33.904 seconds lap, which he improved to a 1 minute 31.188 second to go 0.9 of a second clear of the rest.

With Sunday's race taking place at the same time of day as FP2, the majority of the riders worked on their race pace in the extremely hot conditions, with Dovizioso also impressing with a long run on his Ducati.

Midway through FP2, with 12 minutes remaining, Dovizioso's team-mate Lorenzo lost control of his Desmosedici and was thrown into a massive high-side under braking for the Turn 3 hairpin, with his Ducati's engine appearing to seize causing the rear wheel to lock which fired the Spaniard into orbit over the handlebars with his Ducati completely destroyed, breaking into several parts in the accident.

Lorenzo, who was already nursing a foot injury from his Aragon crash, was stretchered off and taken to the medical centre for checks. Lorenzo was seventh at the time of his crash, but was pushed down to 16th.

Just minutes after Lorenzo's off, Avintia Ducati's Xavier Simeon crashed at the same spot and he was waving furiously having fallen on suspected oil dropped in Lorenzo's off. The session was immediately red flagged for a track clear up at Turn 3.

After a 10 minute delay, the session resumed for the final 12 minutes to set up some late time attacks which saw Dovizioso edge out Viñales.

A flurry of fast laps came when the session restarted, with Yamaha's Viñales the first big mover to the top of the timesheets with a 1 minute 31.121 seconds, set using the hard rear tyre.

This stood as the benchmark only briefly, as a soft-shod Dovizioso edged ahead by three hundredths with a 1:31 minute 090 seconds, which remained unbeaten as the chequered flag came out.

Viñales held onto second ahead of Cal Crutchlow, LCR Castrol Honda, his last quick lap pushed him up to third place ahead of Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez who was shuffled back to fourth having chosen against a late fast lap, doing some race pace runs instead.

Danilo Petrucci took fifth place for the, despite suffering a technical issue with his Alma Pramac Ducati early in FP2.

Andrea Iannone grabbed sixth place for Ecstar Suzuki after a fast low-side fall at Turn 4, following a similar incident Scott Redding suffered on his Aprilia earlier in the session. Spaniard Alvaro Bautista ending the session in seventh for his Angel Nieto Ducati Team after also crashing on Turn 3 at the finish of the session.

Dani Pedrosa, the Repsol Honda number 2, cut his team-mate's advantage down to six tenths with almost 20 minutes of the session gone. Pedrosa topped the Thailand pre-season test in February, secured his place in Q2 with his eighth place ahead of Valentino Rossi and Johann Zarco riding his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha completing the top ten taking the final provisional Q2 spot with a late lap of 1 minute 31.421 seconds.

The Factory Movistar Yamaha pair tried out a new aerodynamic fairing with both Viñales and Rossi testing the new design in FP2.

Jack Miller the other Alma Pramac Ducati rider was the 11th placed rider to narrowly miss out on the Q2 spots ahead of Franco Morbidelli, Marc VDS Honda and Takaaki Nakagami on his LCR Honda Idemitsu machine.

Bradley Smith led the Red Bull KTM charge in 14th ahead of Álex Rins, Ecstar Suzuki, saw Lorenzo drop down to 16th after missing the end of FP2.

Pol Espargaró returned to action for Red Bull KTM following his collarbone re-fracture in Misano last month, ending the session down in 20th. Jordi Torres finished 24th for Reale Avintia Ducati, the replacement rider for the injured Tito Rabat who is still recovering from his awful Silverstone accident. Aprilia's Scott Redding finished 21st after a fast early tumble at Turn 4.

MotoGP Free Practice 2 Classification

Buriram, Friday 5 October 2018

Dovizioso tops FP3, Márquez crashes into Q1

Andrea Dovizioso keeps his top spot in the third practice session while MotoGP world championship leader Marc Márquez crashed on his final flying lap.

While the Ducati riders continued to show strong pace during the FP3 long runs, Dovizioso pushed out Alma Pramac Ducati's Jack Miller to take top spot with a new fastest lap of 1 minute 30.399 seconds, using new soft front and rear tyres.

But the drama unfolded at Repsol Honda with Márquez slipping down the order having failed to set an early lap time to give him a bigger gap to his Q2 rivals. With five minutes to go in FP3, the MotoGP world champion appeared to be hit by a technical issue at the final corner and duly pitted but coming back out for a final lap dash he low-sided off at Turn 4.

The crash dropped Márquez to 11th place in both FP3 and on the combined times to miss out on the automatic Q2 spots.

With Dovizioso leading Miller at the end of FP3, Movistar Yamaha's charge continued to promise with Maverick Viñales taking third place ahead of LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow. Danilo Petrucci shrugged off a difficult Friday practice to take fifth place on his Alma Pramac Ducati ahead of Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa.

Valentino Rossi made up for his Aragon practice disaster by ending FP3 seventh fastest to book his Q2 place, while a late lap from Andrea Iannone saw him place his Ecstar Suzuki eighth overall.

Johann Zarco riding his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 and Alvaro Bautista on his Angel Nieto Ducati both made late improvements which saw Márquez pushed down to 11th, with Marc VDS Honda's Franco Morbidelli narrowly missing out in 12th.

Red Bull KTM showed encouraging practice pace with Bradley Smith taking 13th just ahead of team-mate Pol Espargaró in 14th place with his brother Aleix Espargaró one spot behind on his Aprilia.

Álex Rins' frustrations continued for Suzuki could only manage 16th place.

Jorge Lorenzo missed the rest of the Thailand round due to injury following his high-side crash in the FP2 session.

MotoGP Free Practice 3 Classification

Buriram, Saturday 6 October 2018

Dovizioso leads Márquez, Rossi and Viñales in final practice

In this session, which makes no different to the qualifying places, consistent Dovizioso continued to out pace all the others.

Qualifying 1 is for those outside the top ten after third free practice and most notably Márquez. As he crashed on his flying lap therefore he has to go into Qualifying 1.

He showed his race pace doing the second fastest time to Dovizioso and 0.411 of a second quicker than Rossi. Rossi was concentrating on his race pace and final set-up for qualifying. Viñales continued his good run to take fourth ahead of Iannone, Petrucci, Crutchlow, Pedrosa, Miller and Bautista completing the top ten.

In this session Márquez used the medium front and soft rear for his best lap, while the other front runners were on hard tyres. Franco Morbidelli once again impressed with his consistent fast times on his Marc VDS Honda ahead of the Japanese rival Takaaki Nakagami riding his LCR Honda Idemitsu and Hafizh Syahrin on the other Monster Tech 3 Yamaha. It has been a season long battle between the top two rookies, with the Championship lead swapping several times. Morbidelli currently leads by 5 points ahead of Syahrin.

Syahrin, Morbidelli and Nakagami. All three of these men want it!

MotoGP Free Practice 4 Classification

Buriram, Saturday 6 October 2018

In Qualifying 1 Marc Márquez Easily Went Through To Q2

There was a fight for the second advancing spot between Álex Rins and Franco Morbidelli.

Márquez After his FP3 crash, unsurprisingly dominated qualifying 1, with his time of 1 minute 30.031 seconds put him nine tenths ahead of the rest of the riders.

Rins, Ecstar Suzuki and Franco Morbidelli, Marc VDS Honda battled it out. Morbidelli was set to take second spot until just being beaten by a fraction of a second, only 0.002 of a second as the flag fell.

Therefore Morbidelli starts 13th on the grid next to fellow Honda satellite rider Takaaki Nakagami and Bradley Smith on his KTM.

Aleix Espargaró of Aprilia was 6th, while younger brother Pol, KTM, managed 9th on his return from injury.

British Scott Redding, who is going to be racing in British Superbikes next year, struggled to last place in Q1 six tenths slower than his Aprilia team-mate Espargaró and he started from last place on the grid for the race.

MotoGP Qualifying 1 Classification

Buriram, Saturday 6 October 2018

The Qualifying Two Shootout

Marc Márquez fought his way through Q1 to go quickest and take pole position for MotoGP's inaugural Thailand Grand Prix, beating Valentino Rossi by just a hundredth of a second.

Honda rider Márquez had to go into qualify 1 after crashing in FP3 dropping him down to 11th in the combined classification.

Making it through Q1 with ease, the Spaniard topped the Q1 and Q2 time sheets in the 15 minute pole position shootout.

It was Valentino Rossi Movistar Yamaha Team, who was fastest in the first half of the pole dash, setting a target of 1 minute 30.356 seconds. In the closing minutes he took over at the top again with a faster time of 1 minute 30.099 seconds and only two minutes to go.

Márquez pushed to the limit moments later with a time of 1 minute 30.088 seconds which was quick enough to take pole from Rossi by 0.011 of a second, but half a tenth slower than he did in Q1.

It is another record Márquez gets, it's the first time a rider has progressed from Q1 to take pole position in MotoGP.

Repsol Honda Team-mate, Dani Pedrosa time of 1 minute 29.781 second he did in the February testing is still the fastest lap on a MotoGP bike at the Chang International Circuit.

After Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso took third on the sole Factory Ducati, as Jorge Lorenzo pulled out of the weekend after his crash on Friday.

Dovizioso had looked like he was going to take pole from Márquez on his last fast lap, but lost time in the final two sectors and ended up slower by 0.139 of a second.

Maverick Viñales made it two Movistar Yamahas in the top four, missing out on a front row spot by a tenth of a second. Cal Crutchlow LCR Castrol Honda and Andrea Iannone, Ecstar Suzuki completes the second row of the grid.

Pedrosa finished up seventh ahead of Frenchman Johann Zarco on his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha and Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller the two Alma Pramac Ducati men. Álex Rins who also moved up from Q1, was 11th on the other Ecstar Suzuki and Alvaro Bautista, Angel Nieto Ducati, completed Q2.

MotoGP Qualifying 2 Classification

Buriram, Saturday 6 October 2018

Márquez fastest ahead of the Movistar Yamaha pair in the warm-up session

Marc Márquez was quickest in the warm-up session in Thailand, with Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales competitive again.

Márquez and Rossi spent most of the 20 minute session swapping fastest times, with Márquez having the advantage halfway through the session with a best time of 1 minute 31.072 seconds.

In the last four minutes Márquez cut a fraction off that time which Rossi then beat two minutes later with a 1 minute 30.990.

Rossi's time didn't last long as Márquez clocked a 1 minute 30.863 to take the top spot by 0.127 of a second.

Viñales Rossi's Movistar Yamaha teammate was not much slower finishing only 0.260 seconds slower in third.

Andrea Dovizioso was fourth fastest on the only Factory Ducati, 0.299 seconds behind them. Andrea Iannone was the top Ecstar Suzuki rider ahead of Jack Miller Alma Pramac in sixth and Alvaro Bautista Angel Nieto in seventh, both riding Ducatis.

Dani Pedrosa was eighth fastest riding the second Repsol Honda, 0.754 seconds slower than Márquez.

Busy with their race pace set-up were Cal Crutchlow the British LCR Castrol Honda rider in 16th, ahead of Johann Zarco Monster Tech 3 Yamaha down in 19th and Danilo Petrucci Alma Pramac Ducati finished in 21st.

MotoGP Warm Up Classification

Buriram, Sunday 7 October 2018

Marc Márquez takes the Thai thriller beating Andrea Dovizioso

Márquez prevails in last-lap Dovizioso duel

Marc Márquez took victory in Thailand's inaugural Grand Prix, passing Andrea Dovizioso on the last corner of the final lap. It is inevitable that he will be crowned the 2018 MotoGP champion.

The lights went out and Márquez led from pole for the first four laps then Valentino Rossi on his Movistar Yamaha caught him and managed to find his way past on the run down to Turn 3 on lap five of 26.

Rossi looked comfortable leading with the top riders all happy just to follow him in the first half of the race.

In the second half of the race the two following upped their pace and caught the Italian. Márquez was the first to attack the early leader with Dovizioso in close company. The Honda man dived under Rossi who got a poor drive out of the first corner on Lap 11 and dropped to third.

Then it was a battle of the top two championship leaders. Dovizioso used the Ducati power to drift by Márquez

Dovizioso kept the lead as he and Márquez began to pull away from the Yamaha man in third. It wasn't until the last five laps that the battle really started.

Viñales caught his team-mate and got by him on lap 20. On lap 23, Márquez tried a pass on Dovizioso going into Turn 3, but he ran wide. On the next lap the pair swapped places twice. This enabled the Movistar Yamahas of Maverick Viñales and Rossi to catch up.

The battle for the lead began hotting up, on the penultimate lap, Dovizioso kept Márquez at bay going into the decisive final lap.

After crossing swords with Márquez at Turn 3, the pair kept swapping the lead. Márquez took a defensive line but he left an opening going into Turn 5, which Dovizioso promptly took. Márquez made a last corner attempt to take back the lead which he didn't manage. Nevertheless Márquez managed to get by the Ducati man and pushed to try to make a break. But Dovi stayed right with him.

Then going into the last lap Dovizioso got passed Márquez. Only to have his rival muscle his way by again on Turn 5. Márquez led going into the final corner on the last lap. In a last ditch attempt very late on the brakes, Dovizioso had to dive inside Márquez. But the Italian could not get the drive out of the corner and Márquez switched back to the inside driving out the last corner hard to take the chequered flag a mere 0.115 of a second ahead of Dovizioso to take his seventh win of 2018.

Viñales was not close enough to capitalise on the two leaders duelling it out and running wide. He took his first podium finish since July's German Grand Prix in third, ahead of Rossi, who got his best result since Brno last August.

With the Yamahas on the pace again, Johann Zarco also seemed to have improved his form with a strong ride to take fifth on his satellite Monster Tech 3 Yamaha machine. The Frenchman benefited with Dani Pedrosa crashing out of fifth spot on lap 19 at Turn 5. He was also able to get past Álex Rins Ecstar Suzuki and Cal Crutchlow riding his LCR Castrol Honda of to take seventh place.

Completing the top 10 were three satellite Ducatis, Angle Nieto Team's Alvaro Bautista leading the pair of Alma Pramac team-mates, Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller who came home tenth. Ahead of the second Ecstar Suzuki ridden by Andrea Iannone to eleventh place.

The Malaysian rookie, Hafizh Syahrin brought his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha in 12th and was the top rookie. Aleix Espargaró, Aprilia, Franco Morbidelli, Marc VDS Honda and Bradley Smith Red Bull KTM took the rest of the points.

There were only two crashers, Pedrosa and Japanese rider Takaaki Nakagami loosing the second LCR Honda bike, he remounted to finish two laps down in 22nd.

Now Nakagami and the rest of the MotoGP paddock head to his home GP at the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit in Japan hoping for better fortunes and to impress the top brass at Honda.

MotoGP Race Classification

Buriram, Sunday 7 October 2018

MotoGP riders talk about their Thailand MotoGP race

Winner Márquez Spanish Repsol Honda Team #93

Race Points 25, Championship Position First, 271 Championship points

"Of course I'm very, very happy today because it's the first time I've beaten Dovi in this way. We were very equal, and my strategy was to try and attack in order to open a gap and avoid having it come down to the last lap.

"But Dovi had a very good pace and I was struggling with the front tyre, so I wasn't able. Instead, I just tried to manage the tyres and stick to him. Honestly, I wasn't so confident going into the final lap because I've lost many head-to-head finishes with him in the past.

"But this time, we swapped roles—I used Dovi's style and Dovi used Márquez's style!—and that worked to overtake him on the corner exit. It was a great feeling to race in front of all the Thai fans, who cheered and supported all of us riders equally, really enjoying the sport and making me feel good over the whole weekend. I'm really thankful to them. "Now the first match ball will be in Japan, which is the most important race for Honda as it's their only home Grand Prix. Of course we'll try our best there, but if it's not possible, the main target is still to achieve the title at some point."

Second Andrea Dovizioso Italian Ducati Team #04

Race Points 20 Championship Position Second, 194 Championship points

"I'm very happy with this second place, even though I lost out on the win right at the final corner. Unfortunately, I didn't have much idea about Márquez's strengths and weaknesses because I was almost always in the lead: I tried to counter his pass at Turn 5 but lost a bit of ground and even though I still managed to make up some at the final corner, I wasn't close enough to pass him.

"Pity, but for me this second place is worth more than the one in Aragon because on a track with these characteristics last year we would never have been able to fight for the win and so I'm satisfied with the improvements that we continue to make in every race. Together with my engineers, we always manage to understand something new, we're working very well and now this gives us the chance of fighting for the win almost in every race."

Third Maverick Viñales Spanish Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team #25

Race Points 16 Championship Position Fourth, 146 Championship points

"I was stronger than I expected in the race. I got stuck behind Cal and fought a little with Valentino, and after that I felt really good. The bike was working well, so I'm very pleased about that. For sure I'm happy to finish so close to the top, to be on the podium, and to be able to recover nearly one second at the end, all under difficult conditions in which we used to suffer.

"I'm honestly very pleased, because the work we've done this weekend was done in a good way. It was hot and slippery, but we were still there, so we have to take this race in Thailand as an example and work even harder for the next race. I had a lot of confidence in the front, especially on braking. Let's see if we can manage this again for the next races. If we can do it again in Japan, it will mean we have improved. It's important to stay consistent, precise, and focused."

Fourth Valentino Rossi Italian Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team #46

Race Points 13 Championship Position Third, 172 Championship points

"During this weekend we improved a lot. Unfortunately, I wasn't strong enough for the podium, but it was still a much better race than we had at the last three or four rounds. I always stayed at the front, in all the sessions, I started from the front row - we were competitive, and it was a good weekend, but it's still not enough. Our main rivals were a bit faster and we need to understand if this track helped us or if, in reality, we made a step."

Fifth Johann Zarco French Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team #5

Race Points 11 Championship Position 7th, 123 Championship points

"It's a track I like. The test has already been good in February. During the race weekend I was struggling, as I found it difficult to have a good pace, but in the race finally I was not that bad as I was thinking. I could enjoy it and was able to stick with the front, but still there was a gap in acceleration, so you need to compensate this, but when you try to catch them on the brake, you easily do a mistake and it was pretty difficult.

"I had to fight with Viñales in the beginning, but did a mistake and then I had to fight to catch back up. The pace was good. Then I saw Rins, I could push even more and overtook Crutchlow, plus Pedrosa crashed, so it was a tough race. It was difficult for me, but I think it was also difficult for them and at the end, I was fighting with Rins, who was in front of me. I was feeling good enough to catch him, but I knew that I had to stay focussed to don't do any mistake. Finally, he went a little bit wide and I could go inside in corner nine to safe the fifth position. I'm pretty happy, because I'm not far from the winner and first independent is very good for the championship overall."

Sixth Álex Rins Spanish Team Suzuki Ecstar #42

Race Points 10 Championship Position 10th, 102 Championship points

"I pushed a lot from the beginning to try and reduce the gap to the front group and I lost a lot of time fighting with the other riders so I stressed a lot the tyre because I was pushing hard. Towards the end of the race I knew I needed to settle down and I realised I could take 5th or 6th which was not so bad. In the end I just lost the 5th place but it was not so bad and I'm quite happy. Things are going in a good way and we head to Japan next, which is a positive place for me and for the team."

Seventh Cal Crutchlow British LCR Honda Castrol Team #35

Race Points 9 Championship Position 6th 128 Championship points

"Today was a great spectacle and a good show again to be fighting at the front for some laps of the Grand Prix race. Unfortunately, I couldn't keep the pace of the front guys, I did my best, but after 15 laps I felt a big drop in the rear tyre which meant I was pushing the front tyre and the pressure went very high in the front of our bike. And I wasn't able to manage the grip very well.

"Our team did a good job to give me a bike to be competitive this weekend, it was important for the championship points to finish the race and be there. It's one of my worst finishes of the season - to be six seconds off the win and in seventh place is disappointing because I've been six seconds off and finished on the podium before in MotoGP. But now we look forward to the next three fly-aways, Honda's home race in Japan, and we'll try our best in them and I think the tracks will suit me better."

Eighth Alvaro Bautista Spanish Angel Nieto Ducati Team #19

Race Points 8 Championship Position 13th, 72 Championship points

"We finish in Thailand with eighth place but just six seconds down on the winner, which is more important. It was about the start, when I touched with Morbidelli a few times and lost a lot of ground. For the rest of the race our lap times were competitive so let's see if we can keep this going in the next races.

"Along with the team we made a step forward in Aragon and also here, with some fine tuning of the set-up, but we don't have many more cards up our sleeve. To finish in the top ten is already a good result so let's see what the next few races bring."

Ninth Danilo Petrucci Italian Alma Pramac Ducati Racing Team #9

Race Points 7 Championship Position 7th, 126 Championship points

"It was a pretty difficult race for me. Unfortunately starting from the third row penalized me especially in the first laps. With this temperature, it was important to manage the race but I always had to push.

"In the end, I managed to pass both Iannone and Jack but I lost some points on Zarco and Crutchlow. The goal for Japan? The first thing is to do a good qualifying".

Tenth Jack Miller Australian Alma Pramac Ducati Racing Team #43

Race Points 6 Championship Position 12th, 74 Championship points

"It was a good race and if I have to be honest I had a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I struggled with the rear tyre right from the start, especially in the left-hand corners. Halfway through the race, I tried to get closer to the front group and then there was a good battle with Danilo, Iannone and Bautista. The temperature was really high: a good training for Malaysia".

The British Riders

Bradley Smith 15th Smith British Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team #38

1 Race Point Championship Position 19th, 19 Championship points

"It was a bit like Aragon where we had good one lap pace with the soft tyres but in the race with the Hard option we are struggling a little bit more. Again I had a good start and reached P10 in the beginning. I learned from being around the other guys and we seem to be having the same problems. It will be good to make some more analysis this week and before we go to Japan. I think we will be able to find some conclusions and answers.

"I had a fun little battle with Scott (Redding) in the final laps and it was strange to be fighting so hard for the last point but that's how competitive it is inside MotoGP at the moment; it is not easy to get that point. Japan next and we know it is a hard braking track and we have a lot of acceleration so we need to set up the bike in the right way. It's a track I like with high-grip so I hope we might be able to use some of the softer compounds there."

Scott Redding 16th British Aprilia Racing Team Gresini #45

No Race Points Championship Position 21st, 12 Championship points

"To be honest, I am happy with the race today. On the first turn I didn't took any particularly high risk, maintaining my usual braking point, but I managed to close the line well and immediately gain a few positions. Overall, the bike worked well today. I didn't have any particular difficulties, despite the truly demanding conditions. We struggled in qualifying, but this morning in the Warm Up session we managed to find an improvement which will hopefully help me in the upcoming races as well."

The Only Non-Finisher

Dani Pedrosa Spanish Repsol Honda Team #26

No Race Points Championship Position 11th, 87 Championship points

"Today's result was a very disappointing one as we had a real chance to fight for the podium. I lost the front when I was pushing hard and getting closer to the front. I hit a bump and couldn't save it. The crucial moment was the start, as first I had an issue with the clutch and soon after that, Miller took the inside into the corner too fast and pushed us both wide so that we lost ground. As we had all been forced to use the hard rear, I struggled to warm the tyres up over the first three laps, and I didn't have good grip. It took a while to get into a fast rhythm. The positive thing is that we had a strong race after that, catching the front group. We had a good chance but we didn't make it. Hopefully the next race will be better."

The 2018 Championship is all but over

With Marc Márquez now the clear leader with 77 points at the top of the table and only four races to go, that's only 100 points available. Márquez should win the Championship unless some unlikely disaster happens to him,

2018 MotoGP World Championship Standing

At 07/10/2018

Statistics obtained from motogp.com website and used to create the above tables.

Next MotoGP Race Is The Motul Grand Prix Of Japan At The Twin Ring Motegi Circuit

The next race is round 16 of this year's Championship the Motul Grand Prix of Japan at the Twin Ring Motegi Honda owned Circuit starting Friday 19th October with the race on Sunday the 21st.

All the sessions will be reported on in my full report soon after the chequered flag waves the winner home.

- Roland Potter