Fabio Quartararo led a trio of Yamaha riders to end the opening day of the Thai Grand Prix on top of the overall standings.
The Yamaha riders took control in the afternoon following a massive high-side for Marc Marquez in Free Practice 1. The championship leader, who can win the title this weekend, was thrown off his Repsol Honda at turn seven. Marquez was launched into the air and hit the floor hard, whilst his RC213V was destroyed.
The reigning champion was taken to hospital for MRI scans and other checks. It was reported that he had serious contusions on his left leg and back. However, Marquez had not broken any bones and returned to Buriram for Free Practice 2.
Remarkably, Marquez headed out onto the circuit and went straight to the top of the standings on his first run. He didn’t switch to soft tyres in the afternoon and, as a result, ended the day a respectable sixth.
Meanwhile, Quartararo led the charge for Petronas Yamaha. Having secured second in Free Practice 1, the Frenchman was determined to go one better in the afternoon. Thanks to a new soft rear tyre, he did just that. His time of 1:30.404 was +0193s quicker than Maverick Viñales. Viñales won’t be too disappointed, given that he topped the morning session.
Franco Morbidelli completed the top three on the second Petronas bike. The Italian improved from seventh in the morning session, posting an top afternoon time of 1:30.625.
Continuing his impressive form from Aragon was Jack Miller. The Australian was the top Ducati rider once again, ending the day in fourth overall.
Valentino Rossi ended the day in fifth, ensuring that all four Yamaha riders were inside the top five. The nine-time champion narrowly missed out on fourth, losing to Miller by just +0.035s.
Another rider who kept his momentum going from Aragon was Aleix Espargaro. The Aprilia rider ended the day seventh, despite initially raising concerns about the team’s potential this weekend.
Andrea Dovizioso finished the day in eighth, with the Suzuki duo of Joan Mir and Alex Rins completing the top 10. There was only 0.008s between the two team-mates.
Danilo Petrucci is in danger having to go through Qualifying 1 tomorrow. The Italian could only manage 11th and will be hoping that the weather remains dry for Free Practice 3.
Cal Crutchlow may also need to go through Qualifying 1 after ending the opening day in 13th. Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro finished 15th on his first day back since breaking his wrist.
Jorge Lorenzo continued to struggle on the Honda. He was +1.545s slower that Quartararo, and ended Friday’s sessions in 20th place.