The grid is set for the debut Thailand Grand Prix at the Buriram International Circuit. And things have started strongly for the top riders so far in 2018 MotoGP.Due to a crash in Saturday’s Free Practice 3, Marc Marquez was forced out of a top-10 start for the second qualifying (Q2) session.
This forced the 25-year-old Spaniard to grab one of the top-two times in the first qualifying (Q1) session if he wanted to get into Q2 – which he did. The Repsol Honda rider followed that up with the top time in Q2 to become the first rider in MotoGP history to progress from Q1 to Q2 and claim the pole.This was Marquez’s 50th career-class pole – 78th across all classes – and fifth this season.Marquez enters Thailand MotoGP with the championship point lead as he chases his fifth-straight title in the premier class.Marquez, who has won six races so far this season, including the last one two weeks ago at Aragon, has 246 points – 72 ahead of Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, and 87 ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi.Joining Marquez on the front row for Sunday’s 26-lap Thailand Grand Prix are two Italians – Rossi, who finished a mere 0.11 seconds behind, and Dovizioso, who finished 0.139 of a second back.As for Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo, who joins Marquez on Repsol Honda in 2019, he’s going to sit out Sunday’s GP due to a huge crash at turn 3 in Friday’s free practice 2, which was led by Dovizioso. Two weeks ago at Aragon Lorenzo suffered a huge crash on the opening lap that left him with a dislocated toe.When 2018 Thailand MotoGP Qualifying wrapped up, the top 10 were within a 0.6 of a second of each other.Heading up row two is Rossi’s teammate Maverick Vinales, who was followed by LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone.Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who retires after 2018 MotoGP, qualified seventh ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco and Alma Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilio Petrucci.Rounding out the top 12 were Alma Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins and Angel Neito Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista.The battle gets underway Sunday at Buriram, the round 15 of 19 beginning at 2 p.m. local time. For US TV times, visit 2018 US MotoGP TV Schedule.
KTM Super ADV R + Lightning Motorcycles’ Richard Hatfield
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends—the weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
In this week’s first segment, Editor Don Williams rides KTM’s new 1290 Super Adventure R. This hardcore ADV bike is big, powerful, and a true expert-level machine. Interestingly, it has multiple points of adjustment within its highly capable electronics package, and Don discovered several big surprises where the bike changed personality completely. His is an intriguing look at one of the most capable off road ADV bikes on the market today.
In the second segment, I chat with Richard Hatfield, CEO of Lightning motorcycles. This silicon valley based manufacturer was founded in 2006, and having racked up several notable race victories (including Pikes Peak in 2013 with the late Carlin Dunne on board) Lightning have certainly dominated in racing terms. In another first, Lightning has just announced a new rapid-charging battery technology that may well bring electric motorcycles into becoming real-world, practical transport.
So from all of us here at Motos & Friends… we hope you enjoy this episode!