- Oliveira on the fourth row for the first Thai Grand Prix since 2019
- Binder next to his teammate after both riders make Q2 and as MotoGP braces itself for the third round in as many weekends
- Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s ailing Raul Fernandez takes 16th while Remy Gardner is 18th
- Masia 2nd fastest in Moto3™ and Acosta 4th in Moto2™
The varied Chang International Circuit mixes a selection of fast straights, sweeping corners and technical sections within a 4.6km layout. The venue welcomed Grand Prix for the first time in three years as MotoGP returned to the Buriram area for the third edition of the Thai fixture.
The world championship arrived directly from Japan and into more unstable conditions with heavy rainfall battering the relatively new motorsport facility in the build-up to round 17. Fortunately, the first day of Free Practice occurred on a relatively dry track as the heat helped clear the damp tarmac. After FP1 and FP2, Miguel Oliveira was already in the hunt for direct Q2 entry and was only 0.3 of a second from Provisional Pole.
Come Saturday and more fine weather and it was Binder who surged to the front of KTM reckoning. The South African has been frustrated by yellow flags in his flying lap quest on Friday but cut through FP3 to make Q2. Oliveira forced his way through Q1 with the second-best lap time thanks to his final attempt. The Portuguese was limited by his tire options and waited late in the session to log a time eight tenths of a second from Pole Position as Binder hovered as high as 7th but then had an issue that kept him in the pitbox in the final minutes.
Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s Remy Gardner will roll into 18th on the start grid but the Australian was bettered by teammate Raul Fernandez by two positions in Q1. The Spaniard was 16th but had been struggling with a bout of food poisoning on Friday and Saturday. Fernandez actually had to sit out FP3 due to the malaise and is hopeful of more energy and better shape for the race.
Moto3 gets underway at 07.00 CET with Moto2 at 08.20 and the red lights go out for MotoGP at 10.00
Brad Binder: “Today was really, really good. I started off well this morning, was strong from the first exit and could be really consistent throughout the day, my pace was good and I’m happy with the way we were working. I put in the soft tire and went straight through to Q2. FP4 was great and I felt really confident with what I had beneath me. The only slip up of the day was in qualifying when we started with the medium rear tire to make sure we have a spare soft for tomorrow. I came in to use our allotted soft tire for the qualifying lap attempt and unfortunately I had to pull it over and couldn’t have a shot at it. That was a bit annoying but, anyway, it is what it is. It doesn’t take anything away from the fact that we have really good pace and I think I can do a good job tomorrow.”
Miguel Oliveira: “A mixed feeling today because I wanted to do a good lap in FP3 but left it too late and the yellow flag meant it wasn’t possible. I knew there was chance to go through Q1 and we could make it and it took a lot of effort. I felt that we had made a step forward with the bike this afternoon and I was quite fast. I wanted to save a bit of energy for the last run in Q2 but looking back I should have gone out on a used tire and set up a marker and gone from there. Still, happy with the performance. Our place on the grid is nothing special but I think we can make a good race tomorrow.”
Raul Fernandez: “I have not been feeling well today and this morning we decided to skip FP3 to get as much rest as possible for the FP4 and qualifying. When I came back, I was feeling good but I had not been eating, and if you don’t eat, you don’t recover. The FP4 session itself was not great but it was not bad either I would say. But in qualifying, it was tough. I started with three laps and on the third one my stomach already hurt, so we will see how we feel tomorrow for the race.”
Remy Gardner:“The day has been quite ok although I am a bit dissatisfied with the position. We are close to being thirteenth so it was not what I had hoped for. I did my lap on my own which is good but I lost time in sectors 1 and 2 in the long straights, whilst I felt good in sectors 3 and 4. For tomorrow, we still need to analyse whether we will use soft or medium tyres. We have tried both today and both were not bad, so we will have a decision to make tomorrow morning. It will be key to start the race well and manage the tyres, and if we manage to do that, we can do a good race on Sunday.”
KTM GP Academy
Moto3 top honors after Q2 belonged to Dennis Foggia as one second split 12 riders in bright conditions on Saturday afternoon. The leading KTM RC4 runner was Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia in 2nd place with a further five KTM RC4s in the top ten. Masia’s teammate, Daniel Holgado, was 6th fastest. Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü clocked 16th as Adrian Fernandez was mired in Q1 and down in 19th.
Red Bull KTM Ajo watched Augusto Fernandez hurry to 8th position in Moto2 and half a second from Pole but the championship leader was marginally upstaged by younger teammate Pedro Acosta in Q2. The Spaniard found almost two tenths of a second more than Fernandez on his best attempt to seal 4th and the first slot on the second row.
Results Qualifying MotoGPOR Thailand Grand Prix
1. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati 1:29.671
2. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati +0.472
3. Pecco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati +0.406
4. Fabio Quartararo (FRA) Yamaha
5. Johann Zarco (FRA) Ducati +0.208
11. Miguel Oliveira (POR) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.681
12. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.323
16. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:57.827
18. Remy Gardner (AUS) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:57.288
Results Qualifying Moto2 OR Thailand Grand Prix
1. Somkiat Chantra (THA) 1:35.625
2. Tony Arbolino (ITA) +0.085
3. Ai Ogura (JPN) +0.264
4. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.331
8. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.505
Results Qualifying Moto3 OR Thailand Grand Prix
1. Dennis Foggia (ITA) Honda 1:42.077
2. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.292
3. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Husqvarna +0.409
4. Stefano Nepa (ITA) KTM +0.454
5. Diogo Moreira (BRA) KTM +0.639
6. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.663
16. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +1.330
14. Adrian Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Tech3 (Q1) 1:43.134