2019 Buriram MotoGP Qualifying Result: Dust And Glory (More Accurately Glory and Dust)

The premier class qualifying session was a sunny spectacle bearing no resemblance to the deluge a couple hours back and the now familiar pairing of Fabio Quartararo and Marc Marquez made sure to treat the resilient audience to a tight battle for pole position. The Frenchman had the upper hand – but only just – after the first run and Marquez put a target on his back for the second outing. Quartararo went on to improve on his arch rival’s all time lap record and would have improved even further, had it not been for a tumble at turn six on his final flying lap. However, Marquez had already joined the service road after his own harmless fall at turn five just moments before, so the Petronas rider was free to secure his fourth pole position of his rookie season.

Maverick Viñales took advantage of Marquez’s mistake and snuck ahead to make it a Yamaha one-two, so the world champion had to settle for the final spot on the front row. While still firmly in the game for victory and in a good position to secure the championship, the Spaniard will rue his mistake as he was a quarter of a second up on Quartararo’s time when he reached unlucky turn five. Still, third place was probably better than he could have expected while hopping in the medical car yesterday morning.

Franco Morbidelli added to the Petronas squad’s joy with a fourth place, although a full half second off the front row men. After bossing Q1, Danilo Petrucci scored his best qualifying result in recent memory with fifth, with Jack Miller rounding out the second row of the grid. If Andrea Dovizioso plans to stop Marquez’s world domination, he will have to do that from row three, the Italian struggling to do any better than seventh. Joan Mir impresses in eighth, ahead of Valentino Rossi, who started his session in the gravel trap at turn five but recovered to ninth on his second machine.

Alex Rins had such a quiet session he almost turned invisible on route to tenth, sharing fourth row with the chirpy Espargaro brothers. Pol was just as impressive as usual on his return from injury and two tenths faster than brother Aleix. Cal Crutchlow was the big loser of Q1, missing out on the second qualifying session by one hundredth of a second.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 20 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 1'29.719    
2 12 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'29.825 0.106 0.106
3 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'29.931 0.212 0.106
4 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 1'30.431 0.712 0.500
5 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'30.522 0.803 0.091
6 43 Jack MILLER Ducati 1'30.597 0.878 0.075
7 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'30.692 0.973 0.095
8 36 Joan MIR Suzuki 1'30.735 1.016 0.043
9 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'30.741 1.022 0.006
10 42 Alex RINS Suzuki 1'30.778 1.059 0.037
11 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'31.065 1.346 0.287
12 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 1'31.258 1.539 0.193
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'30.685    
Q2 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'30.956 0.271 0.271
13 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'30.969 0.284 0.013
14 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 1'31.388 0.703 0.419
15 63 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 1'31.416 0.731 0.028
16 29 Andrea IANNONE Aprilia 1'31.428 0.743 0.012
17 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 1'31.499 0.814 0.071
18 53 Tito RABAT Ducati 1'31.554 0.869 0.055
19 99 Jorge LORENZO Honda 1'31.605 0.920 0.051
20 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1'31.773 1.088 0.168
21 82 Mika KALLIO KTM 1'31.849 1.164 0.076
22 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM 1'31.979 1.294 0.130
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Morbidelli best of the rest! Nice Q. Followed by a swarm of Ducatis, which are the bane of the Yamaha. Red passes Blue on the straight bits, then drops anchor mid corner to rob them of their corner speed. Maybe Franco can swat their flies for some laps.

Let's see tomorrow if Maverick has indeed cured himself of his opening laps doldrums. Looks like he did so after 2018. Miller or Dovi could come put a fly in the Yamaha ointment if on their game and conditions play their way.

Watching Q, the Honda sure doesn't look planted here. On braking it squiggles. Honda struggling can be fun when not on one. Biting my tongue on Lorenzo's partnering success with it out of basic respect. Which is tough, come on...it's Jorge AND Honda. But somehow it seems better to leave him be. I thought he would "get it" by mid season, but that was anticipatory BEFORE this 2019 Honda front end numb-jostle bike was unveiled. Looks a bit Zarcoesque over there for now.

Pol's KTM did some interesting things under him in Q1 and Q2. Wobbly things, AND fast things. At the same time. Great to see him back. Orange is a handful still, but a much more workable one. Fun! Hey Dani, why not sculpt a bike that you end up wanting to wildcard on for a favorite track next year eh?

3 way fight up front? A view of the future? Quartararo/Vinales action?

Turn 5 run-off checks in Q2...brief, w rider interviews. Graziano looks young here! ;)