News 18 Feb 2018

Marquez fastest on day two, Miller third at Buriram

Reigning world champion ups pace on Saturday afternoon in Thailand.

Image: Supplied

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez celebrated his 25th birthday in style at the Thailand MotoGP test, leaving it late to set the first-ever sub-1m30s lap-time of Buriram quite a way through a mammoth workload.

That took the top spot back from teammate Dani Pedrosa, who ended the day second fastest and a tenth and a half down after having led for the majority of the latter stages of the session.

Third was another stunning lap from Australian ace Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing), who was 0.058s off Pedrosa as he continues his run of top performance in 2018.

One of the big headlines on Saturday was once again aero. Part of Marquez’s 94 laps in the incredible heat of Thailand was spent on an aero package, with the number 93, teammate Pedrosa and HRC test rider Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) all having tried updates across the Sepang and Thai tests.

Behind the lockout for the Repsol squad at the top, Crutchlow was the third quickest Honda and was eighth, but quicker than his Friday lap. The Brit concentrated on test duty rather than a time attack.

Miller, meanwhile, continued to show how he’s settled into life on the Ducati GP17. By the end of action, a late run from the Australian saw him shoot ahead of teammate Danilo Petrucci, who is on a GP18 and on Ducati test duty and who ended the day in P6 after hovering further up earlier in the day.

Fourth and fifth were locked out by Yamaha. On Saturday, Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) led Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) after Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) had been the quicker rider on Friday. Vinales’ best was a 1m30.274s, with Zarco just 0.086s behind.

Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), after going second quickest on the first day of the test, was seventh on day two and again top Hamamatsu machine. The Spanish sophomore did around 50 laps and tried new aero from Suzuki, with the factory fielding the fairing they’d previously had as well as longer and shorter version of a new package.

The Ducati Team meanwhile moved on with the program. They have three aero fairings at Buriram, as well as a chassis update, and continued working on them. Andrea Dovizioso was ninth and teammate Jorge Lorenzo 10th.

Detailed results