THE clouds parted and the sun shone on an explosive Q2 session in Buriran at the ‘PTT Thailand Grand Prix MotoGP’.
The Chang International Circuit had been subject to a deluge of rain earlier on in the afternoon, leaving intermittent wet spots on a rapidly drying track.
The story of Q2 turned into a titanic duel fir the first spot, with the rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo taking first blood with a sub 90 second lap record, closely followed by a hard pushing Marc Marquez who also dropped into the sub 90s.
Marquez was coming into the session sore from a monumental highside yesterday in FP1 which left him bruised and battered and with serious lacerations to his back, but in typical Marquez fashion, he was straight back on the bike doing damage to his opponents in the opening sessions.
The nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi took an unceremonious crash at turn five before returning to the pits to set a time worthy of tenth.
The second half of Q2 would turn out to be one of the most thrilling in MotoGP history, with Frenchman Quartararo lapping even quicker, blitzing his own lap record and securing a 1’29.719 to maintain his slender lead at the top.
Marquez also succumbed to reduced grip at turn 5 as he tucked the front, cementing a third in tomorrows grid, the first time since Jerez that he has finished any less than second.
Chomping at the heels of Quartararo was his Yamaha stablemate Maverick Vinales who ended the day just 0.106s after a succession of quick laps aboard his Monster Energy YZR-M1.
Row two features another Yamaha man, with satellite Petronas rider Franco Morbidellii taking fourth, half a second behind the front three.
Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team), ended as best Ducati in fifth place for his best qualifying result since Mugello and Aussie Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) ended sixth, completing the second row.
1 Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT)
2 Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) +0.106
3 Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) +0.212
4 Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) +0.712
5 Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) +0.803
6 Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) +0.878
7 Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) +0.973
8 Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +1.016
9 Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) +1.022
10 Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +1.059