“Without Moto3 World Championship race in Malaysia, I think is the best race of my life, because I don’t think I was stronger than them today. But I use all my experience, all the tools I had, to win today. Brad is super strong in braking and I was able to fight back, also with pecco. I think it was rally mental today, and I was able to give that last millimetre of tyre left for the last lap to push like qualifying.
“Today, I changed my strategy, instead of pushing like crazy the first ten laps, I tried to keep that one-tenth or two-tenths to second one to save tyre, and then for sure when I push I saw after that I was not able to pull away, I thought well third place today is a good position. Then when Brad overtook me I thought he was going to pull away, but at that point I saw he had used a lot of tyre and I was stronger again, so I was able to overtake him and push like hell to win today.”
Francesco Bagnaia – P2
“At the start I was happy to get away well and I was in the front, then the battle commenced. It was very easy to get stuck behind and that was the last thing I wanted to do. We managed to do a really good job this weekend in terms of speed, and we demonstrated that we were very competitive today. On the last lap I needed to push very hard on the rear tyre, I didn’t have this advantage for the battle, but it was normal fighting against other riders like this. Malaysia is another great track for me, so I need to keep going just like we are doing, improving the qualifying to be in the front. We have recovered our feeling again this weekend, the pace was here, and we were very fast. We’ll see, the battle will be intense until the last.”
Brad Binder – P3
“I tried my best today and left nothing on the table. I wanted to keep as much rubber as I could while I was behind Jorge. I saw my opportunity and tried to go but a lap later that was it for my rear tyre. We did what we could. My team did a terrific job and I’m sure the win is coming.”
Marco Bezzecchi – P4
“A great battle, I had fun, it’s just a shame about the end, I hoped something would happen between the top three guys, obviously I’m joking. I didn’t start well, I found myself in the middle of the group, I had a couple of contacts and I had to recover. In these situations it is impossible to try to manage the tyre, I gave everything, but with the hard at the rear I was still able to finish the race while remaining competitive. I lost a lot of time in overtaking and when I got to P4 the others were ahead. I suffered more than expected with my shoulder, now let’s go home and recover as best we can for the grand finale. We can do well.”
Fabio Quartararo – P5
“To be honest, it was a better Race than I expected. I could see and learn many things from different riders and different bikes. So, I‘m pretty happy, and hopefully the engineers can understand my feedback from this Race and make some improvements in a few areas.”
Marc Marquez – P6
“It was a really exciting race, straight away from the start there were battles and everywhere I looked in the first laps there were bikes! I had good battles with Aleix, Pecco and later Fabio – they were all hard but really fun. I was fighting really hard at the start which meant the tyre dropped a bit at the end, but then when the others started to drop, I was able to recover more. Overall the weekend was positive, we rebuilt some confidence after Mandalika and Australia so this is really positive. Now we have a week off after three busy and physical races before ending the season.”
Luca Marini – P7
“A complicated race, especially the last 7/8 laps when I had no tyre on the rear. The potential shown yesterday was very good, but not enough for the podium today. I was struggling when entering the corners, the bike wouldn’t stop and I have struggled to get to the finishing line. I couldn’t keep up with the top guys and had to give up at the end, it was a shame. Overall, considering my condition, a good weekend. Let’s continue like this.”
Aleix Espargaro – P8
“Gave it everything today, top five was the maximum possible and I made it, shame for the tyre pressure penalty but very happy with my weekend! Holiday week coming…”
Fabio Di Giannantonio – P9
“It was a hot and seemingly endless race. It was really hard, but it was important to make it to the finish line and put together a good performance. We had an excellent pace, so had we started closer to the front we could have battled for the top five/six. The feeling was really good so we’ll take a few days of relax and then we’ll be back on attack mode for the last three events.”
“Good race, good pace, shame to have made two small mistakes which cost me dearly. It was complicated, everyone was driving very fast in 1’31, difficult to play with the aspirators, when braking, it was necessary not much to make mistakes… The problem is that as soon as I stray a little, I lose too much time, I can’t get back into the corner and that’s what bothers me. Prevents me from being comfortable in the group. It’s been my style for a long time now and I can’t do it, I can’t find a solution to fix it. However, we try to adjust the bike properly during the weekend. Sometimes in a racing situation it doesn’t always work. When we’re in a fight, sometimes the guys in front try things and come out of the corner normally and well, for me, if I do that, each time I’ve lost three or four places . There I did it twice and it cost me dearly.
“That said the pace was good and I was able to move up a bit. I’m happy to finish 10th, it’s still honourable. Frankly without these mistakes I could have done 5 or 6 with Fabio or Aleix. Besides, I heard that he had a three-second penalty for his tyre pressure, which means that at championship level he takes a little less of a lead. It suits me but it doesn’t allow me to get past him.
“I’m still happy with the race, I had a good time but I’m still bothered by this style which doesn’t help me. I brake less hard, well it’s not really braking less hard but it’s my way of making the bike dive into the corner. I need to turn it before and so I slow down a little more because if I come in faster to pass someone for example, I miss the turn. Even if I try to correct it, it doesn’t work, it’s perhaps a blockage on the Ducati, that would be a shame but it bothers me in any case.
“After the victory in Australia, having a difficult weekend like that, finally I’m enjoying it. The most frustrating moment was 19th place on Friday morning. Afterwards on this circuit there is so little gap between the first 18 or 19 that it didn’t matter much. What costs me dearly is qualifying on the 4th row. With my style which doesn’t allow me to position myself well when braking, when I’m behind someone I have to yo-yo and suddenly the others manage to pass and that makes me lose pace.
“Starting from the second row, if I manage to catch the car which is going a tenth faster, it’s not the same story and when I have hooked up with the right car and I’m in a fight I can find an advantage over the end. There the little advantage I had from 15 laps onwards helped me come back from 15th to 10th, whereas if I’m 6th or 5th I break away to get 4th. It is this qualification which, as throughout this year, costs me dearly.
“Now I’m going to enjoy the week in Kuala Lumpur, I’m not going back to France, I’m going to rest well for the next Grand Prix in Malaysia on the Sepang circuit. “
Franco Morbidelli – P11
“It was a good Race, the bike was working very well. We were very fast, especially at the end: I was the fastest on track, and that was pleasing to see. Unfortunately, the starting position wasn‘t ideal, and I couldn‘t catch up as I wanted. I also made a mistake: I went wide in Turn 3 and I lost a lot of time. That was a pity, but we were quick. So, it was a positive Race overall.”
Joan Mir – P12
“A solid day today again, my pace was quite close to that of the top five throughout most of the race and we were able to gain some good positions early. Until the last five laps, when the tyre dropped because of the overtaking we did at the start, we were strong and we have to stay happy. I gave my 100 per cent and we were able to make constant progress. Our position probably doesn’t reflect the effort that we made, but there is progress. Qualifying is the key point we need to focus on, the pace is there when it comes to the races.”
Enea Bastianini – P13
“It wasn’t an easy weekend, but today I managed to give a lot of information to the team, and I think I understood the bike better and what it takes to go faster. I think one of the things that slowed me down today was overtaking because I wasn’t able to pass because I couldn’t push the bike. When I was on my own, I was fast, and I changed my riding style a little to meet the needs of the bike and it worked. We take the positive from this weekend with the aim to be more competitive in Malaysia.”
Takaaki Nakagami – P14
“I had a good feeling with the bike’s front end, but it was quite difficult to manage the rear tyre; that was the main issue. In any case, we’ve got some points, and this weekend, we’ve understood some interesting details that will help us improve for the next races”.
Raul Fernandez – P15
“The first part of the race was really good, I felt that I started really well, I was fighting with Fabio (Quartararo). I saw the podium potential but we don’t have the pace to do it, but we did have the pace for 5th or 6th position. But after 10 or 11 laps, the heat was really bad and the last five laps were not good at all. I was close to stop the race but for my respect to the team and Aprilia, I continued to get at least a point. I’m happy because I have the potential and I feel good that I can ride the bike well. We need to see what we did well and do it again in the next race.”
Jack Miller – P16
“Thailand … that really was not great, let’s be honest. I mean, who has ever been stoked with 16th? The thing is, I didn’t make any real mistakes in the race, I just didn’t have the pace. I was just lacking drive off the slower corners, Turn 1 and Turn 3 – and that was where the problems started.
“When you lose two to three-tenths (of a second) every time you come off a slow corner, you carry that all the way down the next straight – and this place has two long straights in the first two sectors. You’re having to line up possible overtakes from a lot of bike lengths back and it gets pretty sketchy. Sectors 3 and 4 here, they were pretty good and I was able to make up a lot of time in Sector 3, especially in the first half of the race before the tyre started to drop. But all weekend I struggled with what we needed to do to get this tyre working.
“Every time we have this (tyre) casing in, I seem to suffer more than the other tyres that we bring – we had it in Austria, India and now here. I’m not really able to get it to work, or understand it very well. It’s a bit of a head-scratcher. I tried different lean angles, picking the bike up earlier, short-shifting – every bloody thing I could. We’ve got some work to do – to not even bring home a point this weekend is disappointing. Quite clearly the bike’s able to work with these tyres, (KTM team-mate) Brad (Binder) did a fantastic job all weekend and showed the KTM way.
“This weekend we weren’t too far off, it’s just that everybody’s level is extremely high. We were 15, 16 seconds off (the win) and these days you’re out of the points when that happens … that was the difference between the podium five or six years ago. It’s good time to be in MotoGP, but it’s a bloody hard time.
“It kind of felt things went away from me from Friday afternoon – I did 20 laps on a tyre that didn’t work at all, and that left me in Q1 for Saturday. My first time attack was good, and the second time attack I had (Aprilia’s) Aleix (Espargaro) on the line into Turn 4, the fastest corner on the track, and apparently he wasn’t on the line … and then there was a yellow flag. Being 13th but only 0.3secs off, that was a big penalty to end up in Q1, and then I ended up 15th on the grid after towing (Honda’s) Marc (Marquez) around and he got into Q2 where I didn’t.
“I got asked about being followed by him – look, it didn’t bother me. At the end of the day, you can’t let it bother you because if you get frustrated with that when you’re trying to ride these monsters around, you’re taking away attention from what you’re doing. I mean … it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last, and I’m not the only victim. There’s no rules against it, but yeah … it is what it is. He knows how to play the game, that’s a reason why he is who he is because he knows how to play it. He’s good at playing the game, and we just have to get as good, if not better.
“It’s a disappointing weekend because it’s so close here. I think that has to do with the track itself, it’s a relatively simple layout which explains how close the times are, and that makes it a track where it’s hard to make up or lose time. You can only brake so late at Turn 1 and Turn 3 and get the bike to balance in those corners, and the infield is tight and everything, but it’s not that difficult. But when you’re literally looking for thousandths of a second here and there, that’s where it gets hard and I was on the wrong side of that on Friday, and things went the way they did after that.
“That’s three weekends in a row and three more in a row to finish the season, so I’m looking forward to getting back home and making the most of that one weekend off before we head to Malaysia! We have a lot of work to do after this weekend, clearly, and we’ll put our heads down and get that done. I’m confident we can finish this year stronger.”
Augusto Fernandez – P17
“Well, a hard race. Especially because I lost a lot of time on the first lap when I ran wide and without brakes on the last turn. After that my pace was the best it has been all weekend. It was the fastest package I had here. It’s been a tricky three races in three weeks. We’ve made better speed but the results have not been there. We’ll rest briefly and then look for better in the final three GPs.”
Pol Espargaro – P18
“Not the best feeling in the race. I don’t think it was the tyre choice but when the drop happens in hot temperatures and right after Moto2 then usually the grip is lower. I struggled a lot to make the bike turn and to stop it. I’m trying all I can but I’m not comfortable at the moment. We’ll keep working to turn things around.”
Maverick Vinales – DNF
“Today the heat from the bike got the better part of me. I tried to push and keep at it but then after a point the heat from the bike just got unbearable, eventually got to my neck. Good work from the team. We keep the head up and head for the next race. Thank you for all the fans””
Alex Marquez – DNF
“It’s a shame because we were brave today and we deserved something more. I was feeling good and also felt like I was quicker than Binder in that part of the track where I crashed. I still have to understand what happened, but I need to thank the team for the great work. We have the speed and the consistency in terms of results is just a matter of time.”
Miguel Oliveira – DNF
“I had to retire the bike due to a technical issue early on in the race. At first, I was trying to manage the rear tyre, I knew the race would be long and a challenge physically and for the tyres, so I was managing as best as I could, but in the end I had to stop the race. It’s something we have to look into but now, I’m just looking to reset and do better.”
Francesco Guidotti – Red Bull KTM Team Manager
“An amazing race, and an amazing race for the win by Brad with a strong result. Unluckily he touched the green zone on the last lap so he had to drop one position but he did so well to push all the way inside the top three. We really enjoyed it. We’re already looking forward to the next race with a lot of confidence. A different story with Jack as we just couldn’t give him the setting he needed with the special tyre allocation here. For sure there is still work to do.”
Pablo Nieto – VR46 Team Manager
The balance of these three races in a row is overall more than positive: we arrived in Indonesia with both riders having just underwent a surgery and we brought home three podiums in the Sprint, a pole position and very solid placements in the Top5 which allow us to maintain the P3 in the general standings with Marco. I’m satisfied, the Team did not give up, Luca is growing a lot and Marco shows that he can fight, despite the physical conditions, at the level of the strongest guys. Let’s recharge our batteries this week and then take a deep breath and all in towards Valencia.
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director
The Thai GP Race delivered in terms of entertainment! Fabio and Franco showed they had the pace in Warm Up, and this is positive in one way, but also frustrating in another. Our riders can‘t exploit the speed and pace that they have when riding by themselves in a race setting because they are forced to ride the lines of other riders. Starting from P10 and P18 doesn‘t help either. Still, both of them did a good job today. Gaining positions at the start and managing the tyres were the points we focused on to get the best results possible, and ultimately it did pay off. We now have a one-week break before we start the final triple-header to wrap up the season.
Razlan Razali – CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Principal
“It was a difficult weekend and a difficult race. Miguel did not feel comfortable at all this week and unfortunately he had a technical issue with the bike in the race today and had to retire. Meanwhile, Raul had a fantastic start, he was amazing in the first ten laps and he was in the top 10. He dropped off because he had a problem with the heat of the bike. The heat that emits from the track to the bike was a problem as it made it hard for him to breath, this problem was also faced by the Aprilia factory boys as well. However he still managed to salvage one point. So, we take a week break after three weeks of racing and traveling and we go next to Malaysia, our home Grand Prix and we will be fully prepared there.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Manager
“We’ve completed the 17th race and the final of the first triple header. We had a technical problem with Miguel’s bike which we need to investigate further. Raul was feeling really well all weekend. He did a good job but at the end with 10 laps to go, all the boys especially the Aprilia boys were struggling to resist the heat from the bike. Nevertheless, I’d have to say that I’m proud of him that he did a strong first part of the race going from the back to the front and fighting strongly, he felt good with all the bikes around him and he was competitive. He finally finished 15th with one point which was better than nothing. We go home now after three weeks and look forward for our home race next in Kuala Lumpur where we want to do better.”
Nicolas Goyon – GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 Team Manager
“Augusto achieved one of his targets in making Q2 directly after a strong Friday but couldn’t really use that improved grid position. He struggled with some brake issues today. He then battled with Pol. Our goal now for him is to improve the first laps of the race and to get past the other riders; especially if we want a better result. Pol struggled through the weekend with grip issues. It is a tough period for him at the moment but we will keep fighting and find a solution. There is no reason why we cannot improve, so let’s refresh and come back with some ideas in Sepang.”
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