First Q1, then Q2, and then pole position. The road was longer than expected, but in the end, Marc Márquez re-established the hierarchies, besting the rest in the Buriram qualifiers. In fact, the Spaniard took the first historic pole position at Chang. It was a performance that boosted the six-time world champion’s confidence, partly because until now a rider who was forced to go through Q1 had never managed to go on to take the first spot on the starting grid.
“This morning I was unlucky, because with the new tyres we had a problem in FP3 – Marc recalled – At that point, I had to pit and then go back out with the second bike and a different setup. I tried to push anyway, but I ended up in the gravel, not going through to Q2. When you work on race strategy straight away, there are problems that can occur and that you need to be aware of.”
However, then the music changed.
“With the used tyres, I managed to have a good pace in FP4, plus on the flying lap I found great confidence. Among other things, I was faster in Q1 than I was in Q2. They told me that this is the first time a rider coming through Q1 has taken pole position, but I always had the right sensations throughout the weekend.”
Marc’s mind is already focused on the race and obviously on tyre choice.
“Sunday everyone will use the hard rear – he pointed out - Dovi has a great pace, but so do we. There is obviously Yamaha; in fact, I expect that the last ten laps will be crucial.”
Number 93 also had something to say about the Michelins.
“I think that having a sole supplier is better for the show, since this is a crucial point for the bike – he said – Now there is a similar situation for everyone. The heat? I’d say that the conditions are worse in Malaysia. Despite the three straights, here in Buriram the heat is not such an important problem.”
Teammate Dani Pedrosa, on the other hand, had the seventh best time.
“It’s a pity, because I missed the front row by just two tenths – Dani began – The first tyre I used was not the greatest. In fact, I was unable to improve the time. In fact, with the second tyre, I managed to take a step forward, although it was not enough to close the gap behind the leader.”
The script for Sunday has yet to be written.
“For the race it will be complicated – Dani warned – We have a few difficulties with the rear tyre, particularly at the centre, so we’ll need to work to figure out the solution that will let us save the tyre the most and give us the right confidence on turns.”
It is certainly not a simple situation to tackle.
“I think that every rider is struggling with this aspect – he concluded – Maybe the soft is the one that provides the best performance over the long distance, but the hard on the rear seems to be the best choice.”