Thai MotoGP: Marc Marquez wins tactical Thailand battle

Marc Marquez wins an incredible last lap battle at Thailand.

Marc Marquez lined up on pole for the 50th time in his MotoGP career and lead the early laps, that was before Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi squeezed passed the Honda.

The pace at the front was slower than expected with the riders setting mid 32s whilst dipping into the 31s through the opening few laps.

Andrea Dovizioso sat in 3rd behind the Honda but moved up into 2nd following his fellow Italian.

The race was all about who could manage the Hard rear tyre, something that Valentino Rossi struggled with as he spun on the exit of turn 1 making him a sitting duck as Dovizioso and Marquez relegated the Italian to third.

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Further back Nakagaami dropped his Idemitsu LCR Honda at the tight final corner.

Cal Crutchlow was sat in fourth but with Vinales, Pedrosa, and Zarco closing down on the leading four it was soon an 8-way fight for the lead.

Sadly the race ended early for Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa after the Spaniard tucked the front at turn 5.

Once Vinales got in the fight he dispatched of Valentino Rossi who started fading away from the leading three but remained close enough to pick up the pieces when the battle commenced.

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Marquez launched his first attack with 4 laps to go into turn 3, running wide allowing Dovizioso to squeeze back passed the Honda.

With turn 3 out of the equation Marquez tried a surprise pass at turn 8 but got outfoxed by the ‘professor’ and it was back to square one for Marquez.

With turn 3 and 8 out of the equation, Marquez launched yet another attack into turn 5 running wide but just narrowly holding onto the advantage, all whilst Viñales and Rossi sat and watched.

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With Marquez now leading into the final lap, it had become a 4-way fight for the lead with Valentino Rossi closing up as the fight continued.

Marquez lead right up until the final corner when Andrea Dovizioso slid his GP18 underneath Marquez but ran wide on the exit of turn 12 allowing Marquez to out-drive the Ducati to win by 0.1s.

Valentino Rossi tried the move on Viñales but the 9x World Champion was too far back, nearly running into his younger teammate.

Cal Crutchlow faded in the last remaining laps of the race falling behind Zarco and Rins who completed the top 6.

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Alvaro Bautista was the top non-factory Ducati after the Spaniard brought it home in 7th after his DNF in Aragon, with Petrucci and Miller rounding out the top 10.

After what was a good weekend for Iannone, the Italian had a poor race finishing in 11th with Syahrin coming home as the top rookie.

After gambling with the soft rear tyre, Aleix came home in 13th whilst Morbidelli and Bradley Smith completed the points positions on the Marc VDS EG0,0 Honda and the Red Bull KTM.

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With his win, Marquez extends his lead to 77 points over Dovizioso whilst Vinales moves back ahead of the absent Jorge Lorenzo in the MotoGP Championship.

Marquez’s first chance of the title comes in 2 weeks time at Honda’s home round in Motegi, Japan.

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