A fierce battle in the very last lap and an epic world title-winning overtake by Marc Marquez meant that the Spaniard is now an eight-time world champion, taking his sixth MotoGP title at Buriram on Sunday. In yet another head-to-head scrap, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took on Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in a thrilling climax at Chang International Circuit, leaving it to the last lap to take victory in a final corner showdown. Marquez reigned supreme to take a second consecutive victory in Buriram to become the 2019 MotoGP World Champion, sixth time in the premier class.
It was a fantastic start from Fabio Quartararo, as the 20-year-old Frenchman blasted into the lead at Turn 1, with Marc Marquez almost colliding with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) on the short shoot to the first turn.
Maverick Viñales made a good start and held on to third whilst Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) also got away well, pushing through into fourth. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) didn’t make big gains but was seventh by the end of Lap 1, moving through from ninth on the grid. It was a catastrophe for Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), who stalled his bike on the grid and had to start from Pitlane.
The race settled down and Quartararo set an incredibly hot pace out front, pulling Marquez along with him as the two began to trade fastest lap times. Valentino Rossi had got ahead of Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) at the final corner, whilst Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) loomed in the background. There was a disaster further down the field as Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) crashed out at Turn 8. The Finnish rider was OK, but his race was run.
There was drama for Valentino Rossi on Lap 10 and 11, as the Italian experienced a sudden drop-off in pace and found himself behind Rins and then Mir, the latter getting through at Turn 3. The 40-year-old nine-time Champion picked his pace back up but was just 1.7s off the back of the Suzuki. With Rins in clear air, he set off after Morbidelli.
On the final lap, Marquez tried again at Turn 3 and this time it worked, as he pulled his Honda down to an apex and then blasted onwards to Turn 4. Quartararo had been strong in the final sector for the entire race however and built in momentum all the way through from Turn 8.
Closing through every corner, Quartararo tried one massive lunge at Turn 12, as the enormous Thai audience watched on. Going slightly wide, an opportunistic Marquez didn’t settle for a safe second and sliced back through to take the win on the run to the line, whilst the Petronas Yamaha SRT outfit had to settle for second. Maverick Viñales couldn’t get in on the action and in the end, was third.
1.Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team)
2.Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) +0.171
3.Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) +1.380
4.Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) +11.218
5.Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) +11.449
6.Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) +14.466
7.Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) +16.729
8.Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) +19.162
9.Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) +23.425
10.Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU) +29.423