Jorge Martin put himself in the perfect position to eat into Francesco Bagnaia’s MotoGP points lead in Thailand as he streaked to pole position with his chief rival only sixth.  

The Pramac Ducati rider looked bang on the pace from the outset of the pole shootout as he led the way in the opening runs with a new lap record of the Chang International Circuit of 1:29.491s to put himself just under two-tenths-of-a-second clear of VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi.

Bagnaia meanwhile ended up sixth and just under eight-tenths adrift of Martin, the series leader struggling once more to match the provisional pole-man over a single lap.

Martin wasn’t home and dry yet though as Bezzecchi managed to squeak ahead of him with his final gambit of the session by just 0.008s, though he immediately posted a session-best indicator on his final tour.

He continued to find lap time across this circulation to eventually cross the line 0.196s faster than the Italian.

His 1:29.287s effort ultimately proved sufficient for Martin to score his fourth premier class pole of the year ahead of Luca Marini, who managed to slide up to second at the death just ahead of Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro.

Bezzecchi was therefore shuffled back to the head of the second row in fourth, the VR46 man just clear of KTM’s Brad Binder.

Bagnaia also improved towards the end of Q2, but his best attempt left him sixth and around a quarter-of-a-second down on Martin’s benchmark.

Alex Marquez managed to escape Q1 and qualify seventh for Gresini Ducati ahead of brother Marc Marquez, the Honda man having joined his younger sibling in progressing from the opening qualifying segment.

Maverick Vinales could manage only ninth on the sister factory Aprilia, while Fabio Quartararo was pushed back to tenth in the final reckoning having sat within the top five following the opening set of runs.

Australian GP winner Johann Zarco will start 11th for Pramac, while Augusto Fernandez completed the Q2 combatants in 12th.   

Fabio Di Gianantonio meanwhile saw his recent Q2 streak broken by team-mate Alex Marquez by a narrow margin, forcing the Italian to start 13th just ahead of RNF Aprilia’s Raul Fernandez.

Jack Miller struggled to string together a decent lap and therefore could secure just 15th on the grid ahead of LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami.

Franco Morbidelli struggled to replicate his Friday form on the other Yamaha en route to a lowly 18th, while Joan Mir ended up 19th on his factory Honda.

Defending Thai GP victor Miguel Oliveira was left with work to do from 20th for the sprint and grand prix encounters, the Portuguese pilot lapping faster than only Enea Bastianini’s factory Ducati in 21st.

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