Wednesday, April 24, 2024
HomesportsMartin takes pole at Thailand Grand Prix

Martin takes pole at Thailand Grand Prix

BURI RAM – Jorge Martin led from start to finish to win his fifth straight sprint of the season at the Thailand Grand Prix on Saturday and take pole position for Sunday’s main event.

The performance reduced the gap to championship leader Francesco Bagnaia to 18 points.

Brad Binder finished second, less than a second behind, while Luca Marini was third. Ducati rider Bagnaia started on the second row but finished seventh.

Bagnaia now has 369 points going into Sunday’s 26-lap grand prix where he will again start sixth on the grid with pole-sitter Martin now on 351 after picking up 12 for the sprint victory.

Martin began the weekend 27 points behind the defending champion and gave himself a boost when he smashed the lap record on Saturday.

Martin had missed out on race victory and the podium at the Australian Grand Prix when he lost grip at the end of the race and the Spaniard said he was trying to conserve his tyres.

“But then I saw Brad and Luca (catching up) and decided maybe now it’s time to pull away,” he said in a post-race interview. at the Chang International Circuit.

Martin had a flying start to fend off Marini and take the lead going into turn one while Bagnaia, who started sixth, fell to ninth by the end of the first lap.

Binder started fifth on the grid but he managed to make up two places, moving past Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro and VR46 Racing’s Marco Bezzecchi to sit third.

Binder has found more success in sprints this season with five previous podiums and the KTM rider eventually overtook Marini to move up to second when the VR46 rider struggled to get the best out of his tyres in hot track conditions.

Martin extend his lead to 1.5 seconds with six laps to go and although Binder was able to catch up, the Spaniard was in complete control as he crossed the line for his seventh sprint win of the season.

“Second place, we’ll take it,” a smiling Binder said. “In the beginning I struggled to get past Luca, it was a tricky one. Then Martin did a fantastic job.”

Honda’s Marc Marquez qualified eighth on the grid and the six-times MotoGP champion, who is moving to Gresini Ducati next season, finished fourth.

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