Marco Bezzecchi stuns Ducati with first MotoGP pole at Buriram

Marco Bezzecchi has taken his maiden MotoGP pole for Ducati after getting the better of Jorge Martin and the Italian manufacturer’s title contender Francesco Bagnaia.

Fabio Quartararo was the early pacesetter after setting a low 1m 30s lap on his first attempt, however, the reigning MotoGP champion was quickly pushed off the front row as Ducati’s onslaught began.

Martin was the first rider to set a sub 1m 30s lap this weekend, before team-mate Johann Zarco joined him by going second with a time of 1:29.963s.

Jack Miller, who was third after his opening stint, was pushed back down to fourth as Quartararo elected for a third consecutive ‘push’ lap, which was enough to go just over a tenth off Martin’s time. 

Miller’s day then got worse as he returned to pit lane without setting a time attack on his second run, instead pointing to his rear tyre when arriving back at the Ducati box.

On track, Bagnaia bolted to the top of the leaderboard before Martin responded by going back onto provisional pole. 

Looking set to take yet another MotoGP pole, Martin was then usurped by rookie Bezzecchi, after the Mooney VR46 rider produced a stunning final sector. 

Nearly a tenth down with a few corners remaining, Bezzecchi instead came across the line with the slender advantage of 0.021s.

Bezzecchi’s time wasn’t safe however, as Marc Marquez was on course to challenge the Italian before a big moment at the final corner. 

The Repsol Honda rider momentarily lost the rear which led to him finishing eighth.

Marquez and Miguel Oliveira make it through Buriram MotoGP Q1

In what was turning out to be one of the worst weekends of the season for Aprilia, Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales began qualifying in Q1, as did two-time Buriram MotoGP race winner Marquez, who narrowly missed out on the top ten in FP3. 

After going off circuit on four occasions in FP4 as struggles getting his RS-GP22 stopped on corner entry continued for Vinales, the Spaniard then suffered the same fate during the opening stages of Q1. 

Marco Bezzecchi stuns Ducati with first MotoGP pole at Buriram

Having no such problems was Marquez as the eight-time world champion set a blistering time of 1:30.343s to go fastest. 

Visibly angry, Vinales was only 10th in Q1 after the first run of time attacks, while team-mate Espargaro was third. 

Doing Yamaha and championship leader Quartararo a big favour, RNF rider Cal Crutchlow was the rider who moved Espargaro out of the top two with one run to go. 

Espargaro then responded with a brilliant lap to go quickest, but as he returned to pit lane before the session was over, Marquez and Oliveira managed to narrowly pip the championship contender.

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