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Last chance for rivals to catch up with Marquez in uncharted territory

Marc Marquez

Bengaluru, October 3: Champion Marc Marquez is sitting pretty at the top pf FIM MotoGP World Championship standings as the Repsol Honda rider holds a clear 72-point lead over his nearest rival.

That is almost three race wins clear as it is fast becoming a last chance saloon for those on the chase, currently led by Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) as the MotoGP caravan moves to Buriram and new-to-the-calendar Chang International Circuit.

Now is the time to strike, but no one can shake off the consistency of the number 93.

The long and challenging MotorLand Aragon is a very different beast to the Red Bull Ring and Brno, and yet the protagonists remained the same - in terms of speed at least.

Although Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) suffered a Turn 1 crash and was out of the running, it was once again Honda vs Ducati at the front for the majority of the weekend and this time Marquez came out on top. So will that remain the same at Chang despite the nature of the track?

Strong Honda

Strong Honda

Testing tells us that Honda will be strong at MotoGP's new circuit.

It was Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) who topped Day 1 of the test at Buriram, Marquez who was quickest on Day 2 and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) went fastest on Day 3 and overall - a clean sweep for the Japanese manufacturer.

Ducati in track

Ducati in track

Ducati Team's Dovizioso was a little further back, and Lorenzo further still after a difficult test...but who showed their hand?

Ducati have only gained momentum as the year has gone on. Lorenzo arrives on the road to recovery after that crash at Aragon, but the 'Spartan' isn't known as the 'Spartan' for nothing.

Yamaha power

Yamaha power

So what of Yamaha? MotorLand was a difficult weekend as the Iwata marque continue to endure a tougher time of it in 2018.

During testing at Buriram they did not light up the timesheets either, but nevertheless Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) remains third in the title fight and not that far back from Dovizioso. Maverick Vinales is fifth and two behind his veteran team-mate.

Independent rider

Independent rider

In testing, it was Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) who took home the honour of top Yamaha.

The Frenchman has nOt quite been able to keep his early season pace but he will take heart from that on the road to Thailand - and he is still well within striking distance of the honour of top Independent Team rider.

Testing can give us some clues as we head for Chang International Circuit, but it remains uncharted territory in terms of a race weekend. Who will tame the heat and humidity of Thailand? Tune in from the October 5 to 7 as MotoGP barrels in to Buriram.

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    Story first published: Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 11:56 [IST]
    Other articles published on Oct 3, 2018
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