Round 15Thailand

  • Marquez Wins 2019 MotoGP Crown With Superb Victory

    Marc Marquez secured the 2019 MotoGP World Championship with a breathtaking last-corner victory in the Thailand Grand Prix, with four races remaining.


Video - Marc Marquez 2019 World Champion

Report

Marquez Wins 2019 MotoGP Crown With Superb Victory

CHANG INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, Thailand, October 6, 2019

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) secured the 2019 MotoGP World Championship with a breathtaking last-corner victory in today’s Thailand Grand Prix, with four races remaining. The result gives the 26-year-old his sixth premier-class crown in seven years, a title hit rate better than anyone since Giacomo Agostini in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez

Marquez’s ninth victory of the season also extends Honda’s advantage in the MotoGP Constructors World Championship as the company chases its own record: a milestone 25th constructors crown in the premier class. And the Repsol Honda Team is also in the hunt for the teams title.

If rider, constructor and team do win the 2019 triple crown, it will be their third in a row, another remarkable achievement from the riders, engineers, technicians and crew that help the RC213V reach peak performance wherever they race.

Marquez spent 25 laps of this afternoon’s 26-lap race shadowing Fabio Quartararo, the pair setting a blisteringly fast pace ahead of the pack despite gruellingly hot and humid weather. On the final lap the Spaniard passed the Frenchman at Turn Three, opened a small gap, only for Quartararo to close through the final sector and pass Marquez into the last corner. However, Quartararo was on the absolute limit and ran a fraction wide into the turn, so Marquez was able to undercut him on the exit to win the race to the checkered flag by 0.171 seconds. Marquez won last year’s inaugural Thailand GP in similar style, undercutting Andrea Dovizioso at the final corner.

Today’s result continues Marquez’s astonishing 2019 season: nine wins and five second places from the first 15 races, with just one DNF in April’s Grand Prix of the Americas, when the youngster slid off while holding a commanding lead. It also brings his world title count to eight, with the 2010 125cc crown and 2012 Moto2 title preceding his domination of MotoGP.

This race victory and World Championship success were all the more incredible considering what happened in Friday morning’s opening practice session. Marquez crashed heavily in the final minutes of FP1, sustaining bruising to his lower back, left leg and right hip. After medical checks he was passed fit to ride and despite some discomfort from his injuries his resolve to win never wavered.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) was Honda’s next finisher, the Japanese rider recording a tenth-place finish, his ninth top ten in his second season in MotoGP. This was a good result at the end of a challenging weekend for the 27-year-old from Chiba, who now heads home to prepare for his home race, the Japanese Grand Prix at Twin Ring Motegi on October 20.

Nakagami started from 14th on the grid, after a complicated time in practice and qualifying. The former Moto2 race winner and his crew regrouped for the race, making final improvements to his 2018-spec RC213V that allowed him to come through from 12th at the end of the first lap.

Team-mate Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) also had a difficult weekend. The three-times MotoGP race winner started from 14th, alongside Nakagami, and struggled to get into the groove in the early laps. But as the race went on his pace improved and the 35-year-old Briton showed good speed. In the end, however, he had to be happy with 12th place and four World Championship points.

Three-times MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) finished outside the points in 18th. The 33-year-old Spaniard is still recovering from the injuries he sustained when he fell during practice for June’s Dutch TT at Assen. After that tumble he missed four races, finally returning to action at the British Grand Prix at the end of August. Since then, race by race, he has been working to rebuild his physical strength and confidence. He plans to take another step forward at the Japanese GP.

Moto2 victory went to Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex), the Italian youngster taking his first win of 2019. Marini took the lead from pole-sitter and World Championship leader Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) on the second lap. From there he never looked back, easing to a 2.2 second victory. 

With Marini out front, it was left to Marquez, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM), Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM KTM) and Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40 Kalex) to produce the drama in a thrilling four-rider fight. By lap 15, Lecuona and Binder had passed Marquez, who then had to focus on Fernandez’s attack from behind. 

Lecuona withstood Binder’s pressure until the 11th corner of the final lap, when the South African made an audacious overtake around the outside into the final corner to steal second place by 0.24 seconds and take his sixth podium in the last eight outings. Lecuona was still delighted to finish third, the second time he has secured a Grand Prix top three. 

Fernandez beat Marquez for fourth, but the points leader was still content to extend his advantage in the title race from 38 to 40 points with four races to go. Fernandez now sits second overall with Binder rising to fourth, 44 points behind Marquez. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) claimed his best Moto2 result with sixth place. 

There was jubilation for home hero Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, Kalex) in front today’s enthusiastic crowd of 95,352 fans. The 20-year old Thai rider started well to sit in the group of riders in the fight for seventh. 

Chantra’s hopes of securing a personal best finish in the Moto2 class took a blow on lap 14 when he ran off track. But he fought back superbly from 11th, passing Marco Bezzecchi (Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM) on the final lap to secure a brilliant ninth place, his best Grand Prix result, bettering his tenth place in April’s Argentine GP.

Team-mate Dimas Ekky Pratama (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex), contesting his first race since Barcelona in June, had a tougher afternoon.

The 26-year old Indonesian jumped the start, a mistake which incurred a ride-through penalty. After re-joining the race in 30th, Ekky Pratama battled with a lack of rear grip in the heat. He focused on not making any mistakes in his comeback race and picked up six places on his way to finishing 24th. 

The opening Moto3 race may prove to be a critical moment in this year’s Moto3 World Championship fight as Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) stormed to second place as his title rivals Aron Canet (KTM) and Tony Arbolino (Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) had days to forget. 

The race started in thrilling fashion, with a leading group of 22 riders fighting for positions at every corner. However, a crash on lap eight split the lead group, when Darryn Binder took out victory contenders John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) and Canet. There was further drama when Arbolino suffered an issue that dropped him outside the points, before he fought back to tenth. 

It was left to Dalla Porta to lead from the front with Albert Arenas and Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) making it a three-way fight for the victory on the last lap. Despite Dalla Porta’s out-braking move into the final corner, he ran wide, allowing Arenas to cut back and win by 0.231 seconds. Dalla Porta’s disappointment at losing out on a second victory of the season was tempered by the knowledge that he had extended his championship lead from two points to 22.

Lopez was delighted to collect a first Grand Prix podium with third, 0.322 seconds behind the race winner, after narrowly missing the top three on two previous occasions. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) was in the midst of the victory fight throughout but was the victim of an aggressive overtake on the penultimate lap which caused him to lose the leaders’ tow. Fourth place was still his best result in three races. 

Starting from the front of the second row, Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) felt his way into this 22-lap race before showing his best speed in the closing laps to finish seventh. Toba began to make progress from 14th place to join the leading group with seven laps to go. 

It was a brilliant effort from the 19-year old from Fukuoka, who is still feeling the after-effects of a painful shoulder injury sustained at the San Marino Grand Prix. Despite not feeling 100 percent fit, Toba avoided late drama to come home seventh, just 1.2 seconds behind the race winner. 

Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) arrived in Thailand with high hopes thanks to a debut Grand Prix podium at the previous race at Aragon. However, the talented 18-year-old from Saitama crashed in qualifying, leaving him 20th on the grid. 

In the race he made excellent progress to ride with the leading group in the closing stages, taking fifth place at the final corner of the penultimate lap. But at the first turn of the final lap Ogura was taken out by Andrea Migno. A sad end to a fighting ride.

After a gruelling weekend in tropical heat, the MotoGP paddock has ten days to catch its breath before the action resumes at Motegi, where practice begins on October 18. The Japanese Grand Prix is the first of three races held on consecutive weekends, with Australia and Malaysia following. 

 

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez

Comments

MotoGP

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 1st

“I’m very happy. I’m so happy. When you have an advantage like I had you realize you are so close to the championship but you need to find something to keep you motivated. Today it was winning the race and it’s what I did. Fabio was so fast during the race but I never gave up, even during the middle of the race where it looked like he was escaping. It was a beautiful way to win the championship – even if I wasn’t thinking about it on the last lap! Arriving in parc fermé with the whole Repsol Honda Team there was fantastic; it’s a dream to do it with the whole fan club and the nice celebration. Every year is special, it’s not easy to keep everything perfect each year to fight for the title and I had a very hard winter with the injury but myself, the team and HRC managed it well. Now we’ll enjoy this feeling a little bit!”

Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: 10th

“That was a really hard race, with tough conditions for everybody. The grip level was quite nice. From the beginning I felt I was able to go a  bit faster than in practice, so I was able to overtake some riders. I tried to do my best every lap and my lap times were really, really consistent. It was tough, because all through the race [Francesco] Bagnaia was less than one second behind me. I’m quite happy with another top ten. It’s really important for me because the next race is my home GP. Thanks to my team who did a really great job all weekend and now we are really looking forward to my home GP.”

Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: 12th

“Today was not a great result. The first six laps I had were very difficult. I had a brake issue from the start, so I had to figure out how to ride the bike with that. Once I was alone and able to ride the way I wanted I was able to pick off some riders. Maybe it was a brake overheating issue. I lost a lot of time in the early laps but in the end I  was able to grab a few points in the Thai GP. I know we need to improve as a team and also I need to improve for the next race in Japan. We need to congratulate Marc and Honda for winning the championship and now we look forward to going to Japan.”

Jorge Lorenzo, Repsol Honda Team: 18th

“First of all I want to say congratulations to Marc and the whole Repsol Honda Team – eight Word Championships is a very impressive achievement. On my side, it’s difficult to accept this result as it is very disappointing. I tried my best to be as fast as possible but in the warmer conditions I had trouble stopping and I found it difficult. We now look ahead to Motegi where we hope we can be stronger.”

Moto2

Luca Marini, SKY Racing Team VR46: 1st

“Beautiful race and beautiful victory! I had a good start; with a constant pace and I immediately created a gap of almost 3 seconds. I'm very happy because we finished the race dominating and it's the first time in my career. It was not easy to stay focused until the finishing line. I tried not to think and not to make mistakes. After the fourth place in Aragon, a track where I always struggled a bit to be competitive, I was very confident. The bike was perfect, even with the high temperatures. The guys did a great job and it was hard for them too because there were 50 degrees into the garage. Thanks to all the Team, the Academy and my family. They followed me from Italy waking up for a week at 3am.”

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Ajo: 2nd

“I’m very happy with today's contest. Starting 12th made everything harder for me. In the qualifying I didn’t really feel comfortable, so it was a long night whilst I thought about how to improve for the race. Finally, this morning in the warm-up we took the step forward that we needed. I have to thank the team, because in the race I had the best bike of the whole weekend, which is the important thing. I feel very strong for the next Grand Prix.”

Iker Lecuona, American Racing KTM: 3rd

“It’s been a difficult year and I’ve found it tough to go fast with this bike. This race was very hard. I fought hard to reduce the gap to the rider in second and in the last part of the race I was second. I fought and overtook Brad but in the end I missed out. He overtook me on the outside and I tried to cut back. I nearly high-sided the bike. But anyway, I’m really happy. Thanks to my team and now I have the bike to fight for the podium in more races.”

Somkiat Chantra, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 9th

“I’m delighted. Today I tried to do my best, being my home race, but maybe I pushed too much on the first lap. Starting from P13, after the first lap I was 21st going wide in two corners. But after that, I tried to be calmer, overtaking rivals and fighting with riders with a lot of experience. I’ve learned a lot in this race, and I would like to continue learning next round in Motegi.”

Dimas Ekky Pratama, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 24th

“I made a big mistake. I was too nervous on the grid, and I jumped the start. After that, I felt horrible. It was not possible to push. I was thinking mainly: don’t make a mistake and don’t crash. Despite that, I’m sure that, without the penalty, I had the pace to be in the group who fought for the top 20. I’m happy to go back with the team to race again after three months.”

Moto3

Lorenzo Dalla Porta, Leopard Racing: 2nd

“It was a fantastic race. I tried to push on every lap but it was so hard to escape. Here with the slipstream I was losing time on the straight before turn three. I tried to create a little gap but I couldn’t do it. I pushed very hard. When Albert overtook me, I knew I could try and pass him at the final turn because I was so strong in the braking points. But I made a small mistake and he won. I would have liked to win for my grandmother. I lost her this weekend. It’s been a very tough few days. Thanks to everyone and my grandmother is in my thoughts.”

Alonso Lopez, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 3rd

“I was always in the top five, just like at Aragon. We needed to consolidate a good weekend with a good race, and finally we achieved that; it was something that we needed and I hope we continue this progression until the end of the season. The race was very difficult. Off the start I gained several places, then I dropped back a little, which is when I saw that crash involving multiple riders. From there, the race was somewhat easier, and I claimed our first podium. My team provided me with a bike that worked perfectly and I'm very grateful for their work to help me achieve this result. I dedicate this podium to my family and to all those who have supported me. It was an incredible race!"

Marcos Ramirez, Leopard Racing: 4th

“This is my best result in a few races but I’m not happy because I should have been on the podium, if another rider hadn’t attacked me so aggressively with one lap to go. Anyway, the important thing is that we have the pace to run at the front, so we will work again at Motegi and try to be on the podium there.”

Kaito Toba, Honda Team Asia: 7th

“A tough race for me, because I have an injury that didn’t permit me to be at my 100 percent. But I made a good race. I hadn’t the option to overtake my rivals, and then I decided to stay and wait because I had the real risk to crash. I’m happy about the result.”

Ai Ogura, Honda Team Asia: DNF

“Again, I’ve lost an option to fight for the podium, and again caused by the same rider. I started from the back of the grid, and during the first laps I struggled to overtake the riders. Shame for the crash because I was constant and fast. I’m happy about this. Now it’s time to think about the next race in Japan. “

More

Results

MotoGP World Championship 2019
Round 15: Thailand Race

MotoGP Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Marc MÁRQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Fabio QUARTARARO (Petronas Yamaha SRT)
3 Maverick VIÑALES (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
5 Alex RINS (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)
6 Franco MORBIDELLI (Petronas Yamaha SRT)
7 Joan MIR (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)
8 Valentino ROSSI (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)
9 Danilo PETRUCCI (Ducati Team)
10 Takaaki NAKAGAMI (LCR Honda IDEMITSU)
11 Francesco BAGNAIA (Pramac Racing)
12 Cal CRUTCHLOW (LCR Honda CASTROL)
13 Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
14 Jack MILLER (Pramac Racing)
15 Andrea IANNONE (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
16 Miguel OLIVEIRA (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
17 Tito RABAT (Reale Avintia Racing)
18 Jorge LORENZO (Repsol Honda Team)
19 Karel ABRAHAM (Reale Avintia Racing)
20 Hafizh SYAHRIN (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
RT Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
RT Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)

Moto2 Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)
2 Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
3 Iker LECUONA (American Racing KTM)
4 Augusto FERNANDEZ (Flexbox HP 40)
5 Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
6 Jorge MARTIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
7 Thomas LUTHI (Dynavolt Intact GP)
8 Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
9 Somkiat CHANTRA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
10 Marco BEZZECCHI (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
11 Enea BASTIANINI (Italtrans Racing Team)
12 Remy GARDNER (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)
13 Andrea LOCATELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)
14 Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)
15 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)
16 Dominique AEGERTER (MV Agusta Temporary Forward)
17 Jorge NAVARRO (Beta Tools Speed Up)
18 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (Beta Tools Speed Up)
19 Jake DIXON (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team)
20 Bo BENDSNEYDER (NTS RW Racing GP)
21 Jesko RAFFIN (NTS RW Racing GP)
22 Philipp OETTL (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
23 Adam NORRODIN (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
24 Dimas EKKY PRATAMA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
25 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Flexbox HP 40)
RT Xavi CARDELUS (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team)
RT Sam LOWES (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
RT Mattia PASINI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)
RT Lukas TULOVIC (Kiefer Racing)
RT Xavi VIERGE (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
RT Stefano MANZI (MV Agusta Temporary Forward)
RT Joe ROBERTS (American Racing KTM)

Moto3 Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Albert ARENAS (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team)
2 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Leopard Racing)
3 Alonso LOPEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
4 Marcos RAMIREZ (Leopard Racing)
5 Dennis FOGGIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
6 Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46)
7 Kaito TOBA (Honda Team Asia)
8 Stefano NEPA (Reale Avintia Arizona 77)
9 Raul FERNANDEZ (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team)
10 Tony ARBOLINO (VNE Snipers)
11 Filip SALAC (Redox PruestelGP)
12 Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox PruestelGP)
13 Riccardo ROSSI (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)
14 Sergio GARCIA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
15 Makar YURCHENKO (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)
16 Davide PIZZOLI (Mugen Race)
17 Kevin ZANNONI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
18 Kazuki MASAKI (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)
19 Deniz ONCU (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
20 Darryn BINDER (CIP Green Power)
RT Andrea MIGNO (Mugen Race)
RT Aron CANET (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team)
RT Ai OGURA (Honda Team Asia)
RT Tom BOOTH-AMOS (CIP Green Power)
RT Julian Jose GARCIA (VNE Snipers)
RT Ayumu SASAKI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
RT Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
RT John MCPHEE (Petronas Sprinta Racing)

Photos