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Blistering pace in blistering heat, Yamaha have come out the blocks fighting in Thailand with a sensational start to the PTT Thailand Grand Prix. Not just one, not just two but three Yamahas made up the top three places after day one in MotoGP™, whilst a fourth one was in fifth. With Further analysis, Yamaha look set for one of their strongest weekends of the 2019 MotoGP™ World Championship campaign.
Ending the day on top, Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was the rider to beat as he set a best lap of 1’30.404, less than four tenths outside of last year’s pole position time on his first visit to the circuit on a MotoGP™ bike. Backing him up was Assen race winner, Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP). Viñales was second and fractionally behind Quartararo, although the Spaniard set a strong pace and looks to have good race speed. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) made it yet more joy for Yamaha, as he was third whilst Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was fifth.
MotoGP™ FP2 in Thailand: Who will top Day 1?
However, on closer analysis, Yamaha dominate the sector times. With the exception of sector one where the demand for horsepower suits the likes of Honda and Ducati, Yamaha pack out the remaining sectors. Eight out of the nine top three slots available are covered by Yamaha, as the Iwata marque set the precedent for pace this weekend.
Sector two sees the Petronas Yamaha SRT duo see-off the opposition, locking out the top two slots, whilst Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) is in third. This is the closest that another manufacturer gets to the Yamahas in their three sectors of prowess. Dovizioso makes the gains in the latter part of the straight between Turn 3 and 4, where the Ducati is strong and uses its horsepower to the best of its efficiency.
Onto sector three, the Yamahas are all inside the top four, making them invincible from Turn 6 to the braking area of Turn 9. The agility of the bike and the less demand for outright top speed makes the Yamaha formidable through this area, with Quartararo on-top for a second sector and some 0.185 quicker than Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) – the nearest non-Yamaha challenger.
The final sector features 40-year-old Valentino Rossi on top, with the biggest margin over the next-best Yamaha in comparison to his Yamaha rivals in other sectors. ‘The Doctor’ is 0.058s clear of teammate Viñales, whilst Fabio Quartararo is next up. The first of Yamaha’s opponents is Ducati, with Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) 0.156 behind Rossi.
Quartararo convinced of good Yamaha performance in Thailand
In conclusion then, if you were to put all of this together into ideal times, the Yamahas would be comfortably ahead of the rest – perhaps a sign of things to come this weekend. The four best ideal times across the grid are all Yamahas, with Fabio Quartararo having the potential to be just under three tenths a lap quicker than Marc Marquez in fifth – Marquez again being the first of the non-Yamahas.
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