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A thrilling opening day at the PTT Thailand Grand Prix has seen five of the six manufacturers feature strongly inside the top ten. With the rain keeping away for the time being, times were able to tumble thick and fast but Buriram seems to be offering a level playing field – both in terms of track undulation and in terms of manufacturer parity.
Dominating the leading positions, Yamaha look like they could be staring down the barrel of a second victory of 2019, with all four of their machines inside the top five. With the ideal times, Yamaha would be far and away clear in the leading positions, with Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) able to withhold the potential of being nearly three tenths a lap quicker than the next non-Yamaha of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) – however, these are on ideal times.
In the results standings, it is Ducati who are able to bring some weaponry to the all-Yamaha battle. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) is flying the flag in fourth place, with the only Yamaha behind being Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP). Ducati have two bikes currently inside the top ten, with the other one being the GP19 of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) in eighth. The power of the Ducati is good through the first two sectors, but the Italian manufacturer will need to focus on sticking with the opposition during the second half of the lap.
Rossi pleased with Day 1 Yamaha assault on Buriram
The only Honda in the top ten currently is Marc Marquez, who can seemingly even overcome a visit to Buriram hospital to fight near the front. The remarkable Champion-elect suffered a massive tumble in FP1 but came back fighting for the afternoon session. Looking strong in the first sector but losing out to the Yamahas and Ducatis in other sectors, Marquez and Honda will be eager to refine their current set-up. Can the other Hondas make an impression tomorrow?
From impressive performances at MotorLand Aragon to delightful starts at the Chang International Circuit, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini outfit secured their top ten with Aleix Espargaro finishing in seventh. For a brief moment in the closing stages of FP2, his teammate Andrea Iannone popped up inside the top ten but was soon relegated to 16th. The Aprilia RS-GP 2019 machine features inside the top ten in all of the individual sector times too, with sector two proving to be their best.
MotoGP™ FP2 in Thailand: Who will top Day 1?
Suzuki are the final manufacturer to characterise the top ten, with both of their bikes featuring in ninth and tenth. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was the best of the team on Friday, as the Spaniard set about his business trying to learn the track as a MotoGP™ rookie. Alex Rins suffered a technical issue in FP1 but by FP2, that had cleared.
KTM may not have featured inside the top ten but the Austrian manufacturer will aim to make gains for the rest of the weekend. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was 15th overall on his return from injury. It was a difficult start to the day for Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), as the Portuguese rider suffered two crashes.
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