The resurgent Ducati team and Yamaha which managed to bring about a second per lap improvement through setup and fairing changes couldn’t stop Marc Marquez from taking the first Thailand MotoGP title ahead of Dovizioso and Viñales.

The start saw Marquez get his hole shot from pole position, with Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha on his tail. Dovizioso lost his third spot to a charging Cal Crutchlow, only to fight back and take the spot.

But then Rossi pulled off a good move that saw him take the lead off Marquez for the next seven laps, only to have his Yamaha hold back and allow first Andrea Dovizioso and then Marquez ahead, with the Ducati setting a blistering pace.

The leaders were being tailed by Crutchlow,  Viñales on the other Yamaha, Johann Zarco on his Tech 3 Yamaha, Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa on the other Honda and Alex Rins on his Suzuki. The first of the tailing pack to break order was Crutchlow who couldn’t keep up with the leader’s pace and dropped back allowing himself to slip back to seventh.

Pedrosa too couldn’t keep the pace, crashing out in the closing stages, to allow Zarco a go at the lead pack. The fight then shifted to the front, with Marquez taking the battle to Dovi and Viñales moved up on Rossi. For a couple of laps it was touch and go with Marquez doing his on the edge overtake only to lose the lead back to the Ducati.

The last three laps saw a battle Royale develop, with Marquez finally managing to move ahead and stay there with the final corner seeing the last tiff leading to a hairline finish that saw Marquez pip Dovizioso and Viñales right on their tails.

Marquez wins 2018 Thailand MotoGP

This win puts Marquez in the position to be able to wind up the championship battle at the coming MotoGP in Motegi.

Marquez said, “Of course I’m very, very happy today because it’s the first time I’ve beaten Dovi in this way. We were very equal, and my strategy was to try and attack in order to open a gap and avoid having it come down to the last lap. But Dovi had a very good pace and I was struggling with the front tyre, so I wasn’t able. Instead, I just tried to manage the tyres and stick to him. Honestly, I wasn’t so confident going into the final lap because I’ve lost many head-to-head finishes with him in the past. But this time, we swapped roles—I used Dovi’s style and Dovi used Marquez’s style!—and that worked to overtake him on the corner exit. It was a great feeling to race in front of all the Thai fans, who cheered and supported all of us riders equally, really enjoying the sport and making me feel good over the whole weekend. I’m really thankful to them. Now the first match ball will be in Japan, which is the most important race for Honda as it’s their only home Grand Prix. Of course we’ll try our best there, but if it’s not possible, the main target is still to achieve the title at some point.”

2018 MotoGP Riders

Bike NoNameTeam2018 season2017 season
93Marc MarquezRepsol Honda271298
4Andrea DoviziosoDucati194261
46Valentino RossiMovistar Yamaha172208
25Maverick ViñalesMovistar Yamaha146230
99Jorge LorenzoDucati130137
35Cal CrutchlowLCR Honda128112
9Danilo PetrucciAlma Pramac126124
5Johann ZarcoMonster Yamaha Tech3123174
29Andrea IannoneSuzuki Ecstar11370
42Alex RinsSuzuki Ecstar10259
26Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda87210
43Jack MillerAlma Pramac7482
19Alvaro BautistaAngel Nieto7275
53Tito RabatReale Avintia3535
21Franco MorbidelliEG 0,0 Marc VDS33 
41Aleix EspargaroAprilia3262
44Pol EspargaroRed Bull KTM3255
55Hafizh SyahrinMonster Yamaha Tech328 
38Bradley SmithRed Bull KTM1929
30Takaaki NakagamiLCR Honda18 
45Scott ReddingAprilia1264
36Mika KallioRed Bull KTM6
17Karel AbrahamAngel Nieto532
51Michele PirroDucati Test team1
12Thomas LuthiEG 0,0 Marc VDS0 
10Xavier SimeonReale Avintia0 

2018 MotoGP Teams

Team2018 season2017 season
Repsol Honda358508
Ducati324398
Movistar Yamaha318438
Suzuki Ecstar215130
Alma Pramac200188
Monster Yamaha Tech3151258
LCR Honda146112
Angel Nieto77107
Red Bull KTM5184
Aprilia4467
Reale Avintia3573
EG 0,0 Marc VDS33117

2018 MotoGP Races

LocationDateFirstSecondThird
Japan21-Oct   
Thailand7-OctMarc MarquezAndrea DoviziosoMaverick Viñales
Spain (Aragon)23-SepMarc MarquezAndrea DoviziosoAndrea Iannone
Italy9-SepAndrea DoviziosoMarc MarquezCal Crutchlow
Britain26-Aug   
Austria12-AugJorge LorenzoMarc MarquezAndrea Dovizioso
Czech Republic5-AugAndrea DoviziosoJorge LorenzoMarc Marquez
Germany15-JulMarc MarquezValentino RossiMaverick Viñales
Netherlands1-JulMarc MarquezAlex RinsMaverick Viñales
Spain (Catalunya)17-JunJorge LorenzoMarc MarquezValentino Rossi
Italy3-JunJorge LorenzoAndrea DoviziosoValentino Rossi
France20-MayMarc MarquezDanilo PetrucciValentino Rossi
Spain (Jerez)6-MayMarc MarquezJohann ZarcoAndrea Iannone
United States22-AprMarc MarquezMaverick ViñalesAndrea Iannone
Argentina8-AprCal CrutchlowJohann ZarcoAlex Rins
Qatar18-MarAndrea DoviziosoMarc MarquezValentino Rossi
Australia28-Oct   
Malaysia4-Nov   
Spain (Valencia)18-Nov   

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