Honda rider Marquez triumphs
Amazing to win here after a difficult weekend. But the boys did very, very good work through the whole weekend. They give everything. So one more step to the final dream. — Marc Marquez, (Reigning Moto GP champion)
PUNE: Spanish rider and reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez inched closer to his third successive title after snatching the lead from Andrea Dovizioso at the death to win the inaugural Thailand Grand Prix at Buriram near Bangkok on Sunday.
The Repsol Honda rider won after a fierce wheel-to-wheel duel with Dovizioso wherein he nosed in front at the last corner to beat the Italian Ducati rider by 0.115 seconds.
The win extended the four-times champion’s lead to 77 points over the Ducati rider with four races left, and Marquez can wrap up the series in Japan in two weeks with a win at Motegi.
Marquez, who scored seventh win of the season, started on pole after winning his 50th qualifying on Saturday but relinquished the lead after a poor early lap, allowing Valentino Rossi and Dovizioso to pass at the Chang International Circuit of Buriram.
Marquez was home in 39 minutes and 55.722 seconds.
Marquez was 0.115 seconds ahead of second-placed Dovizioso, while Spaniard Maverick Viñales on Yamaha came third, 0.270 seconds behind the winner. Valentino Rossi crossed the line in fourth place.
“Yes Team, we got it! First Thailand GP win ever, 7th of the season, 42nd in MotoGP, 68th in career,” Repsol Honda Team tweeted.
Marquez also made history on Saturday after going from the Qualifying 1 straight to the pole position.
“It’s not nice to lose at the last corner but ... at the end we battled for the victory so we did incredible work and we are continuing to improve,” Dovizioso said.
AS THINGS STAND
- Marquez leads the standings on 271 points with four races to go this season, ahead of Dovizioso on 194 points, while Rossi is in third place on 172.
- The Spaniard is one of the most successful rider of all time with six Grand Prix world championships—four of which are in the premier MotoGP class.
- Nicknamed the “Ant of Cervera”, he is one of four riders to have won world titles in three different categories, after Mike Hailwood, Phil Read and Rossi.