After ending FP1 at the top of the timesheets, Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) continued his perfect start to the PTT Thailand Grand Prix after claiming P1 in the second Free Practice session. The Italian set a 1:36.839 to finish 0.142 ahead of Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) in second, who improves from P4 in the morning, with third place Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) 0.298 back – the Spaniard cementing P3 in the afternoon session.
Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) ends Day 1 at the Chang International Circuit fourth on the combined timesheets, a minimal 0.008 off Marquez’ time after improving from a disappointing P17 in FP1, with fellow Italian Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) also leaping up the timesheets in the afternoon – P14 to P5 for the VR46 Academy rider, who sits half a tenth behind his compatriot.
Marini acts as the filling in a Pons HP40 sandwich after the opening day as Augusto Fernandez built on his positive FP1 to end the day sixth quickest – exactly half a second separates the Spaniard from Pasini. He leads the two Red Bull KTM Ajo machines of seventh place Brad Binder – winner in Aragon – and eighth quickest Miguel Oliveira, who sits second in the Championship. The South African claws his way up the combined timesheets after finishing P20 in the morning, as teammate Oliveira slips down from P2 in FP1.
Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) recovered from an FP1 crash to end the day in ninth, with Fabio Quartararo (MB Conveyors – Speed Up) rounding out the top ten in Thailand – the Frenchman remaining in P10 from FP1, 0.697 from top spot.
Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovative Investors) and Edgar Pons (Forward Racing Team) crashed in the afternoon session – riders ok.
Can anyone stop Pasini’s early Thai GP dominance in qualifying? Time will tell, so don’t miss the intermediate class heading back out on circuit at 10:55 local time (GMT +7), with qualifying getting underway at 15:05 local time.