MotoGP 2023
Round 17

Repsol Honda Team duo set for Q1 battle in Thai heat

th Chang International Circuit

In typical MotoGP fashion, tenths of a second would be the defining factor in the story of Friday action in Thailand as Marc Marquez took 11th ahead of his teammate Joan Mir in 16th.

Repsol Honda Team duo set for Q1 battle in Thai heat

Red-hot action in Free Practice 1 matched the red-hot weather conditions as the sun unapologetically beat down on Buriram. There was no hiding from the elements for the Repsol Honda Team who immediately got to work around the 4.55-kilometer-long Thai track. The narrowest of margins, 0.707s for the majority of the first session, split the field as the 21 riders on track battled for positions in the time sheets as they began their working weekends.

Less than a tenth of a second is all that would separate Marc Marquez from a spot in Q1 as Friday came to a close. His best time of 1’30.195 would see him end the day in 11th, just missing out on a guaranteed spot on the front four rows of the grid by 0.06s. The #93, debuting a new helmet for this weekend’s race, finishes the day more or less content with the work done and ready to battle it out in Q1 tomorrow. He walked away unharmed after contact with a piece of debris from Martin’s bike.

Like his Repsol Honda Team teammate, Joan Mir missed out on the top ten by a frustratingly narrow margin. 0.165s from Augusto Fernandez’s time, the #36’s best lap of 1’30.295 was under half a second from Jorge Martin – the fastest rider on Friday. With less than half a second splitting 16 riders after almost two hours of running and a slower start to the day, Mir hopes his upward trend will continue into Saturday in order to contest the transfer spots for Q2.

Both riders will have stiff competition in Q1 at 10:50 Local Time tomorrow morning before the Sprint Race returns to its rightful Saturday home after the change of schedule in Australia. The Sprint is scheduled to start at 15:00 Local Time and run over 13 laps.

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez 93
Repsol Honda Team
I am happy with how today went; it was an optimistic goal to go straight to Q2 so we can’t be too disappointed. To miss out by 0.06s is not too bad all things considered, tomorrow we will try again even if it will be difficult. Our speed is there between tenth and 15th, if we do a lap behind someone, we can be faster because the slipstream can help a lot here in the first part of the track. No problems for me after the hit with the piece of carbon from Martin, it was just painful in the first minute or two because when you are going that speed everything can hurt. Afterwards today and for tomorrow it’s no problem.

Joan Mir
Joan Mir 36
Repsol Honda Team
Our day didn’t start in the best way, the base we had in the morning wasn’t what we needed at this track. So we spent time fixing that, making steps forward and learning all the time. In the last run two runs we had a bike that was pretty acceptable to be able to push with and we finished only 0.4s back. Like this we were able to end the day well, but the times here are so tight so even the smallest mistake in your quick lap can make a big difference. If we can find a bit of time overnight, let’s see what is possible tomorrow.

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