After eleven races in Europe, the MotoGP World Championship and the Ducati Team have now moved to Southeast Asia, in particular the town of Buriram, where this weekend the Thailand Grand Prix – the first of four end-of-season flyaway races (to be followed by Japan, Australia and Malaysia) – will take place. The GP in Thailand is the fifteenth round of the year and the Chang International Circuit in Buriram will host a MotoGP race for the second time. The only previous occasion was last year, when Andrea Dovizioso fought for the win right until the very end, finishing second behind Marc Márquez. Danilo Petrucci was always in the top 10 and in the end finished ninth.
As always in this Southeast Asian country, the high temperatures and weather will play a key role in a race weekend in which Dovizioso must aim to finish ahead of Márquez, while Petrucci will try and improve his form and resume his battle for third place in the Riders’ classification. After Aragón, Dovizioso lies second, 98 points behind Márquez, and Petrucci fourth, just one point behind Rins. In the Teams’ standings the Ducati Team leads the way with 357 points, while Ducati is still second behind Honda in the Constructors’ standings.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 2nd (202 points)
“We needed that podium at Aragón to demonstrate that the work we are doing is right and to tackle these last five races with more confidence. Throughout the weekend in Spain, we made some small steps forward that helped us to finalize the set-up for the race and this must be our objective in every Grand Prix: improve the bike and my sensations in each session. Last year we completed a fantastic weekend at Buriram and we hope to start well again this year on Friday, even though in Thailand the weather factor always plays an important role and we will have to be clever to interpret it.”
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 4th (155 points)
“I believe that we have got over the most difficult races of the season and from here on we can only improve. After the disappointment of Aragón, this week we’ve been working back in Borgo Panigale to find the answers to my problems and at Buriram I think we will see the first results. I can’t wait to arrive in Thailand and I hope to recapture the feeling I had in the first part of the season because I absolutely want to change this situation.”
The first free practice sessions for the Thailand GP will be held on Friday 4th October at 9.55 local time (04.55 CET), while the race on Sunday will start at 14.00 local time (09.00 CET).