Jorge Martin's Or Thailand Grand Prix weekend harvested pole-position, a new track-lap record and victory in both races. The Prima Pramac Racing star claimed Round 17 of the 2023 MotoGPTM World Championship after another exciting fight that saw Michelin tires play a prominent role by facilitating overtaking as the riders pushed to the limit. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) continues to top the provisional standings after coming second ahead of Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).
The Or Thailand Grand Prix produced one of the season's most spectacular shows to date thanks to a combination of close fights and plenty of overtaking. The win only was settled right at the end and tire selection played a decisive role yet again. Given the abrasiveness of the track surface and the probability of hot weather, Michelin proposed a choice of medium and hard rear MICHELIN Power Slicks, but almost all the grid opted for the latter, combined with the medium front. Gresini Racing's Alex Marquez (medium rear) was the only exception.
After topping qualifying and winning the sprint race on Saturday, Martin led from the start of Sunday's grand prix. Four laps into the 26-lap contest, though, Binder began to apply pressure and eventually found a way past the Spaniard on Lap 22. However, Martin put the performance of his hard-compound rear tire to maximum effect to recover the lead with two laps to go. He then held firm to pocket the fifth premier-class victory of his career.
After the checkered flag, Binder was handed a penalty for exceeding track limits, which promoted Bagnaia to second.
Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing team) clocked the afternoon's fastest race-lap (1m30.896s) on his way to fourth, ahead of Aleix Espargaro (5th, Aprilia Racing).
The potential displayed by the MICHELIN Power range over the weekend saw no fewer than eight riders better the former track-lap record, with Martin (1m29.287s) ultimately shaving four-tenths off the previous benchmark from last year. Both Bezzecchi and Bagnaia improved on the former race-lap record.
Bagnaia (389 points) still tops the provisional Riders' standings, chased by Martin (376) and Bezzecchi (310). With three races remaining, only one of this trio can hope to be the 2023 world champion.