It was another master-class display by the Championship leader Marc Marquez, who took the first MotoGP win in Thailand in front of a cheering, enthusiast crowd of more than 100.000 spectators. Marc’s seventh victory of the season is also the 68th of his career, putting him equal with Jorge Lorenzo as the fifth-most winning rider across all classes. It was a hat-trick weekend for the Spaniard, who earned pole position, set the lap record and earned the victory.
Last three lap was indeed spectacular, Marquez sliced his way through at Turn 8, but Dovi snapped straight back at Turn 9. It was déjà vu a lap later as the Repsol Honda grabbed the lead into Turn 8, no way through for the Ducati this time at Turn 9, but a pass into Turn 12 was made to stick heading onto the last lap. The chosen corner for a Marquez assault was Turn 5 – a great move from the six-time World Champion with Dovizioso unable to squeeze back under at Turn 6. This set us up for another final corner epic between the two. Dovi got the run off Turn 11 to brake late into the final corner to get alongside Marquez, but the Desmosedici couldn’t quite drop its anchors quick enough – Marquez cutting back underneath Dovi to win the race to the line.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales finish +0.270 away in third and Valentino Rossi secured a strong fourth place.
Viñales started from fourth on the grid but lost two positions in the busy opening laps as all riders were vying for a place at the front of the rider field. Having settled in sixth position, the number 25 rider soon started to fight back. He reclaimed fifth position on lap 3, overtaking Johann Zarco, and picked up his pace to tag onto the leading group. The five front riders, including the Spaniard, soon broke away, but the threat from behind wasn‘t over just yet. On lap 11 the first three riders started to battle. This allowed the clever youngster to get into the mix, but it also meant that the pursuing field inched closer.
The pressure was on the Yamaha rider, but he wasn’t buckling. As the first three riders tried to break away once more, the youngster quickly overtook Cal Crutchlow, and with seven laps remaining, he joined his teammate. A lap later he overtook the Doctor, giving himself a clear view of the leading duo. With three laps to go the fight for the win really kicked off. Viñales was lying in wait directly behind Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez.
Rossi had a flying start from P2 on the grid and held the position firmly through the first corner. He was on the attack right from the get-go, putting Marquez under pressure, especially in sector 4 before they crossed the line for the very first time. The Spaniard was desperate to shake off the Doctor, but was unsuccessful. The Italian kept running the pace and took over the lead with a brilliant move on lap 5, making the grand stands erupt.
The nine-time World Champion held the number one spot until lap 11, when Dovizioso and Marquez pushed him back to third. With seven laps remaining, he was joined by his teammate. Though he had to let Viñales pass one lap later, he kept shadowing the frontrunners’ every move and closed right back in on the final lap. However, an unsuccessful lunge in the final corner meant he remained in fourth place, as he took the chequered flag 1.564s from first.
PTT THAILAND GRAND PRIX 2018 RESULTS
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 177.9 39’55.722
2 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 177.9 +0.115
3 25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 177.9 +0.270
4 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 177.8 +1.564
5 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 177.7 +2.747
6 42 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 177.6 +3.023
7 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 177.4 +6.520
8 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Angel Nieto Team Ducati 177.4 +6.691
9 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 177.1 +9.944
10 43 Jack MILLER AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 177.1 +11.077
11 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 176.7 +15.488
12 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 176.6 +17.691
13 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 176.3 +21.413
14 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 176.2 +22.802
15 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 176.1 +23.628
16 45 Scott REDDING GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 176.1 +23.804
17 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Angel Nieto Team Ducati 175.5 +32.507
18 10 Xavier SIMEON BEL Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 175.2 +37.216
19 81 Jordi TORRES SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 175.0 +39.204
20 12 Thomas LUTHI SWI EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 175.0 +39.421
21 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 174.0 +53.388
22 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 162.5 2 Laps
Marquez takes a commanding lead with 271 points to second place Dovizioso 194, a 22 points advantage over Rossi.
The next round of the championship will be the Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi from 19-21 October.