Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP) took pole position at the PTT Thailand Grand Prix after blitzing the final lap dash, going 0.462 faster than second place Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) to take his second career pole. The first? That came at the similar layout of the Red Bull Ring in Austria, where the Italian went on to take the win. For Masia, meanwhile, it’s a second consecutive P2 in qualifying as the Spaniard just pushed Kazuki Masaki (RBA BOE Skull Rider) down to third late on. Nevertheless, it’s a milestone for the Japanese rider as he takes his first front row start.
It all went down to a final lap dash at Chang International Circuit, and there was drama at the final corner on that lap as frontrunner Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) crashed out and collected wildcard Somkiat Chantra (AP Honda Racing Thailand). But that wasn’t even the biggest headline of the session, with that written courtesy of some fitness troubles for Championship leader Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3).
The Spaniard didn’t set the timesheets alight on Friday but was feeling fit after his injury struggles a few races ago. That changed by Saturday, however, as Martin suffered a problem with a nerve in his left arm, causing him trouble opening and closing his left hand. Determined to race on despite the difficulties, the Del Conca Gresini rider headed out in qualifying for some damage control and will start P13.
Ahead of him it’s Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) in fourth and only 0.004 off the front row, with Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) completing the top five. Just behind the two Italians it was a positive session for Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) as he had his best ever qualifying in P6, with Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) 0.016 in arrears for seventh. Bastianini, despite his final corner crash, took P8.
Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) complete the top ten, with Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) in P11 after setting the early pace – something he also did in FP2. Rookie Vicente Perez (Reale Avintia Academy 77) took 12th to impress.
The stage is set for what promises to be another spectacular lightweight class race on Sunday. Can Bezzecchi claw back points on Martin? Or can the Spaniard make up some ground? Tune in at 11:00 local time (GMT +7) to find out.
Moto3™ Qualifying Results
1 – Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) KTM 1’42.235
2 – Jaume Masia (SPA) KTM +0.462
3 – Kazuki Masaki (JPN) KTM +0.481
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