Ducati’s dominance in qualifying continued as yet another front row lockout was secured by the Italian brand, while MotoGP champion Fabio Quartararo is the first non-Ducati rider in fourth. 

But who shocked us on MotoGP’s return to Buriram for the first time since 2019?

Marco Bezzecchi - 1st

Not a name many expected to challenge for pole, Bezzecchi got stronger and stronger as Saturday rolled on, before producing a breathtaking final effort. 

Narrowly down on Jorge Martin in the first three sectors, Bezzecchi instead produced a superb final sector in order to gain over a tenth of a second. 

Bezzecchi is no stranger to the front row after claiming second at his home race in Mugello earlier this season, however, his pole lap in Buriram was even better than that.

In claiming his first-ever MotoGP pole, Bezzecchi also got the better of title contenders Francesco Bagnaia and Quartararo. 

Marc Marquez - 8th 

Put his P8 aside and Marquez was one of the stars of qualifying. Yes, Quartararo was a challenger to the Ducatis throughout Q2, however, it was Marquez who seemed poised to make a real impression on how the front row looked come the checkered flag. 

The eight-time world champion, who advanced through Q1 with a brilliant final lap, then started Q2 on a used soft rear tyre. 

So with only one real shot at challenging for a top position, Marquez was seemingly making the most of his second stint as he was within a tenth of Bezzecchi with just one corner to go. 

But as he picked up the bike mid-corner, Marquez nearly suffered a highside before managing to make the ‘save’. Marquez still came across the line to improve his lap time. 

Aleix Espargaro - 13th

What’s so far been a dreadful weekend for Aprilia seemed to be picking up towards the end of Q1 as Espargaro went fastest. 

But after pitting before the session was over, Espargaro then had to watch Marquez and Miguel Oliveira go one even quicker and thus relegated him to P3 (13th overall).

After scoring no points at the Japanese MotoGP, starting towards the sharp end was a ‘must have’ for the Spaniard, who instead looks set for a very tough race and one that could spell problems for his title charge. 

Maverick Vinales - 17th

After showing huge frustration in FP4 - Vinales ran off track on four occasions as stopping his Aprilia on corner entry seemed to be an impossible task - Q1 was not much better.

Vinales, who like Espargaro, was beginning to find pace towards the end of the session, but with others going faster the Spaniard was left down in 17th. 

Still searching for his first MotoGP victory with Aprilia, Vinales will have to wait another race it appears.