0.098 splits Dovi, Viñales, Crutchlow, Marquez on Day 1

Three manufacturers complete an incredibly tight top four in Buriram as Lorenzo suffers a huge Turn 3 crash

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) finishes Day 1 at the PTT Thailand Grand Prix top of the combined timesheets after setting a 1:31.090 to go 0.031 faster than FP1’s quickest rider Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), the Spaniard second overall, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) completing the top three split by a slender 0.043 as Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) suffered a huge crash.

Disaster struck for Lorenzo heading into Turn 3 with just over ten minutes of the session remaining. As the Spaniard entered the corner, his GP18 seemed to have a technical issue, causing Lorenzo to be launched over the top of the bike, landing heavily on his already injured right foot as the Ducati machine suffered severe damage. The five-time World Champion was carried off on a stretcher and headed to the medical centre for a checkup, before heading to the hospital for further examinations. Thankfully, the Ducati man was declared fit.  

After Xavier Simeon (Reale Avintia Racing) crashed at Turn 3 shortly after Lorenzo’s crash, the Red Flags were shown with just over 12 minutes left of the session to clear the debris and potential fluid that was on the track. After the all-clear was given, the rest of the field came back out to put in a flurry of quicker times on fresh rubber. Viñales was the first man to oust Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) from P1 after the latter had led the entire session before Dovi and Crutchlow followed suit. Crutchlow improves from P11 in FP1 to end the day as the fastest Honda, with the Championship leader ending the day in P4 - 0.098 the gap between the leading quartet. 

Fifth on the combined timesheets was Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing), finishing 0.050 behind Marquez to improve from P9 in FP1, with Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) a further 0.018 behind in sixth despite a fast crash at Turn 4 in FP2. Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) managed to string a strong second Free Practice session together to end the day seventh fastest, a big improvement from the Spaniard’s P16 result in FP1 despite a small crash at Turn 3 right at the end of the session – rider ok.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) ends the opening day in Thailand as the eighth quickest rider on circuit, the three-time World Champion improving from P13 in the morning to finish just 0.295 from Dovi’s P1 time. Behind the Spaniard was FP1’s second quickest man Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). ‘The Doctor’ sits in a provisional Q2 place in ninth as the nine-time World Champion sported Yamaha’s new fairing, with fellow YZR-M1 rider Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) leaving it late to grab tenth – 0.023 off Rossi and 0.331 behind Dovizioso in a tight top ten.

Scott Redding (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) crashed at Turn 4 – rider ok.

With less than a tenth splitting the top four and a second separating the top 17, qualifying day is looking like it could be an absolute cracker. Tune in for FP3 as the premier class fight it out for that all-important automatic Q2 spot at 09:55 local time (GMT +7), with Q1 kicking off at 14:10 local time.

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