After winning the 2018 Grand Prix of the Year accolade in its maiden season on the calendar, the PTT Thailand Grand Prix certainly didn’t disappoint in 2019. Both the Moto3™ and MotoGP™ races once again went right down to the wire as Buriram confirmed itself as a last lap, last corner battle haven.
FREE: The epic last lap battle for victory in Thailand
Who can forget Marc Marquez’ (Repsol Honda Team) 2018 Thai GP battle with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team)? The duo was going head-to-head for the title for the second year running and it was a must-win race for the Italian. Dovizioso was overtaken by Marquez at Turn 5 and at the final corner, the Ducati man made a lunge. The 93 got the cutback though and Marquez claimed the first-ever MotoGP™ win at the Chang International Circuit, with factory Yamaha duo Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi also embroiled in the fight for third just behind.
In the Moto3™ race that year, the Championship took an almighty twist. Needing to make up points on title rival Jorge Martin, Marco Bezzecchi was on for a Thai GP podium finish before compatriot Enea Bastianini went for a final corner pass up the inside in the battle for the podium. However, Bastianini tucked the front of his Honda and consequently, he took out Bezzecchi, leaving Fabio Di Giannantonio and Lorenzo Dalla Porta to take P1 and P2, with P3 going the way of Dennis Foggia.
The crash that could decide the Moto3™ Championship
Fast forward a year and we witnessed two more races that were decided at Thailand’s tight Turn 12 final corner on the last lap. In the MotoGP™ race, rookie Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and now eight-time Champion Marquez were tangled in a race-long fight, with Quartararo unable to make a last corner pass stick on the exit. The 2019 World Championship and Marquez vs Quartararo Round 2 went the way of the Spaniard.
Last lap battles: Marquez 2-0 Quartararo
In the lightweight class, Championship leader Dalla Porta was after a first race win since Germany – but he would have to pass Gaviota Angel Nieto Team’s Albert Arenas at the final corner to do so. A late braking manoeuvre came from the Italian but, just like we’ve seen from Marquez in 2018 and 2019, Arenas got the cutback and strode to the finish line to claim his first win since Phillip Island last year.
Four races, four phenomenal Buriram battles. Bring on the 2020 Thai GP!
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