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.
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.