After day one at the PTT Thailand Grand Prix it's less than a tenth that splits the top four and Andrea Dovizioso who finishes Friday as the fastest man at Buriram. The Italian was only 0.031 faster than FP1’s quickest rider Maverick Viñales, however, and top independent rider Cal Crutchlow was close – with reigning Champion Marc Marquez in fourth and only 0.098 in arrears.
Despite the tight timesheets, one of the biggest headlines of the day was a huge crash for Jorge Lorenzo as the Spaniard fell at turn three in the afternoon. Launched over the highside, he later confirmed it was a technical issue that caused the crash. Lorenzo was taken to the Medical Centre for a check-up and then hospital in Buriram but declared fit. It did, however, put a dent in his attempts to move into that all-important top ten – and the Spaniard is already riding through the pain barrier following his turn crash at Aragon.
Back to the front and the gaps remained minimal. Fifth on the combined timesheets was Danilo Petrucci, who finished 0.050 behind Marquez to improve from ninth in FP1, with Andrea Iannone a further 0.018 in arrears despite a fast crash at turn four in FP2. Alvaro Bautista managed to string a strong second free practice session together to end the day seventh fastest, a big improvement from the Spaniard’s 16th result in FP1. He suffered a small crash at turn three but rider ok.
Buriram's fastest in testing, Dani Pedrosa, ended the opening day in eighth after the three-time world champion improved from 13th in the morning and finished just 0.295 from Dovi’s fastest time. Just behind the Spaniard was FP1’s second quickest man Valentino Rossi, who sits in a provisional Q2 place in ninth and sported Yamaha’s new fairing.
Fellow YZR-M1 rider Johann Zarco, meanwhile, left it late to grab tenth, ending the day 0.023 off Rossi and 0.331 behind Dovizioso in a tight top ten – much to the chagrin of Jack Miller, who was the man to just lose out.
Franco Morbidelli was top rookie in 12th ahead of the man who was the fastest newcomer at the test, Takaaki Nakagami, with Bradley Smith and Alex Rins locking out the fastest fifteen on Friday. After his crash, Lorenzo was 16th.