Márquez keeps his lead
With only four races remaining, Álex Márquez now has a forty-point lead in the Moto2 World Championship standings. The title is getting closer …
The first of the four events on the Asia / Pacific Tour, the Thailand Grand Prix was more than a mere formality for the riders who had to cope with harsh weather conditions and a track whose grip changed from one day to the next. Álex Márquez handled it well. Chalking up his fifth pole position in seven Grands Prix, the Spaniard finished the first lap of the race in the lead before giving way to Luca Marini. He then fought it out with Iker Lecuona, Brad Binder and Augusto Fernandez before crossing the finish line in fifth position. “The race was more difficult than expected,” said the championship leader. “Right from the warm-up this morning I found it difficult keeping up the pace. The conditions were noticeably different from the free practice sessions and things were more difficult for me. Despite it all we had a good race, I fought long enough in the lead, and could have made the podium. That was not to be, but the weekend was still positive, I finished fifth with useful points for the championship.” Xavi Vierge never saw the checkered flag. After qualifying for seventh place, the Catalan fell on the eleventh lap, trying to catch up with the leaders. On the side of the Tech 3 team, Marco Bezzecchi clinched his second top ten of the season after Assen. “The bike was working well and despite the heat I managed to keep enough energy for the end of the race,” said the Italian, “and that allowed me to overtake several riders in the last six laps.” Phillip Oettl took the checkered flag in twenty-second position. In MotoGP, Miguel Oliveira finished just short of the points, handicapped by pain in his shoulder after a fall during the practice test sessions. “I was paced well on the first part of the race but unfortunately I couldn’t keep it up,” regretted the Portuguese rider. Hafizh Syahrin complained about a lack of engine power probably due to the heat. He finished in twentieth position.
Although he lost two points to Augusto Fernandez after the Thailand Grand Prix, Álex Márquez has nonetheless consolidated his position as leader, since with four races to go before the end of the championship he now has a forty-point lead over his Spanish opponent. Xavi Vierge has slipped to fifteenth place while Marco Bezzecchi has moved up to twenty-first. In the MotoGP category, Miguel Oliveira keeps his 17th place and Hafizh Syahrin is still 24th.