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Buri Ram ROAR reaches round world

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Buri Ram ROAR reaches round world

BURI RAM - MARC MARQUEZ overtook his arch-rival Andrea Dovizioso in the last corner to win the inaugural PTT Thailand Grand Prix to a roar from nearly 100,000 fans at the Chang International Circuit yesterday.

Honda’s four-time MotoGP world champion swapped the lead with the Ducati rider several times in the last three laps before the Spaniard made his decisive move and accelerated to cross the finish line in 39:55.722 minutes, pipping his rival by just 0.115 of a second.

“It was difficult. In the past I have always lost to Ducati’s riders in the last lap. But this time I gave it my 100 per cent,” said Marquez at the post-race press conference. “It was amazing to win here after a difficult weekend. We move one more step to the final dream [of winning the Championship]," added the Spaniard, who extended his Championship lead to 271 points, ahead of Italy’s Dovizioso with 194.

Buri Ram ROAR reaches round world

“It’s not nice to lose [in] the last corner,” said the Italian, who was also overtaken by Marquez on the last lap in Aragon, Spain two weeks ago.

“This track isn’t for us. We came here struggling a little bit like we did in February [for the Winter Test]. We battled for the victory and we did incredible work. We will continue to improve,” said Dovizioso.

Marquez became the first ever rider to win pole position through Q1 but quickly fell to third behind Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi of Yamaha.

Seven-time world champion Rossi gained the lead but couldn’t keep it, eventually having to settle for fourth 1.564 seconds behind Marquez. His Yamaha teammate Maverick Vinales of Spain rounded up the top three in 39:55.992.

Buri Ram ROAR reaches round world

Maverick Vinales of Yamaha 

Yesterday’s victory was Marquez’s seventh win of the season and his 42nd in the premier class. He became only the third rider to win a race after passing through Q1, along with Jack Miller (Netherlands, 2016) and Cal Crutchlow (Australia, 2016).

In Moto2, Sky Racing Team VR46 dominated with Francesco Bagnaia taking the win followed closely by Luca Marni. Thai Thitipong Warokorn finished at 18th, 38.315 seconds behind Bagnaia.

Buri Ram ROAR reaches round world

Somkiat Chantra of Honda AP Racing Team pays respect to the national flag ahead of his race.

In Moto3, Italian Fabio Di Giannantonio of Del Conca Gresini timed 38:10.789 to beat countryman Lorenzo Dalla Porta of Leopard Racing by 0.135s to win the title. Thai rising star Somkiat Chantra of AP Honda Racing was best of the local riders in ninth, 1.0643 seconds behind the winner. Yamaha’s Apiwath Wongthananon of VR46 Master Camp took 16th, 4.802 behind the winner.

MotoGP’s debut in Thailand was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, who was among an audience of 300,000 at the three-day event.

After expressing doubts that Thailand would pull it off as first-time host, Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of MotoGP licence-holder Dorna Sports, was very pleased with the organisation, said Minister of Tourism and Sports Weerasak Kowsurat.

Weerasak added that 25 per cent of the fans in attendance were foreigners, all of whom experienced a showcase of Thai hospitality and way of life. A talked-about innovation was the use of colourful Etan trucks – Northeastern-style four-wheeled farming vehicles – as shuttle buses to transport fans around the complex. They gained huge popularity, especially among foreign visitors.

Owner of the Chang International Circuit Newin Chidchob said he was happy the weekend had been such a success with fans from all over the world.

“Etan trucks … it shows that agricultural transport can get along with MotoGP. The vehicles make this different from other circuits,” said Newin. The former politician brushed off suggestions he might be interested in holding a Formula 1 race at the venue though. The licence fee of Bt1.2 billion was too expensive, he said.

Buri Ram ROAR reaches round world

Published : October 07, 2018