Moto3: Bezzecchi on pole as Martin suffers

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Championship contender Marco Bezzecchi will start tomorrow’s Thai Grand Prix from pole position, making the most of a difficult day for rival Jorge Martin. The Italian will start tomorrow’s race ahead of Jaume Masia and Kazuki Masaki, with Martin a distant 13th after struggling with an arm injury. Brit John McPhee, still struggling after yesterday’s crash, limited the damage in 19th.

It all went down to a final lap dash at Chang International Circuit, and there was drama at the final corner on that lap as frontrunner Enea Bastianini crashed out and collected wildcard Somkiat Chantra. But that wasn’t even the biggest headline of the session, with that written courtesy of the fitness troubles for championship leader Jorge Martin.

The Spaniard didn’t set the timesheets alight on Friday but was feeling fit after his injury struggles a few races ago. That changed by Saturday, however, as Martin suffered a problem with a nerve in his left arm, causing him trouble opening and closing his left hand. Determined to race on despite the difficulties, the Del Conca Gresini rider headed out in qualifying for some damage control and will start 13th.

Ahead of him it’s Tony Arbolino in fourth and only 0.004 off the front row, with Niccolo Antonelli completing the top five. Just behind the two Italians it was a positive session for Darryn Binder as he had his best ever qualifying in sixth, with Nicolo 0.016 in arrears for seventh. Bastianini, despite his final corner crash, took eighth.

Fabio Di Giannantonio and Lorenzo Dalla Porta complete the top ten, with Ayumu Sasaki in 11th after setting the early pace – something he also did in FP2. Rookie Vicente Perez took 12th to impress.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer