Marc Marquez: "I didn’t know it was a piece of Martin’s bike…"

Marc Marquez suffered an unusual incident as he pulled off track behind Jorge Martin at the midway stage of Friday afternoon’s practice for the Thai MotoGP.

Marquez, who had been chasing Martin for a tow, was struck on the shoulder by a piece of aero that broke off the Pramac rider’s Desmosedici as he swerved off track and into the pit lane.

It looked as though the front wheel aero may have been broken when Martin clipped a marker after cutting across the kerbing.

Either way, after being flipped from his bike it hit Marquez, who immediately began rubbing his right arm and shoulder.

“Before the time attacks, we were going into the box, and something - I didn't realise at that moment that it was a piece from his bike, I thought it was something on the track, even maybe the [pit lane marker] - hit me in the shoulder,” Marquez explained.

“At that time it was painful, and for the next two minutes it was painful, but then it was no limitation for the time attack.”

While Martin went on to complete a practice double, despite a late fall, Marquez was to become a ‘victim’ of the ultra-close timesheets.

Despite lapping just 0.369s from Martin, the Repsol Honda rider missed out on the top ten by one place and a ‘nightmare’ 0.065s - sending him into Saturday’s Qualifying 1.

Visibly frustrated as he spoke to the team immediately after the session, Marquez confirmed that his body language had been indicating a lack of acceleration.

“When I put the new tyre, it was a lack of torque,” he said. “And it's why I was a bit, not angry, just disappointed, some frustration, because you feel you are not using all the new tyre.

“And in some points, the bike was weak. And for tomorrow, we will fix it, but I was more disappointed because I saw just 60 milliseconds to Q2 and Q1 is a nightmare! [Q1 is] the worst practice of the world.”

Although Marquez had at least been close on the time attack, he warned he was “far” in terms of race pace.

“I don't know if it will be a super close sprint race, but we will be far from the top guys,” Marquez said. “In one run Vinales overtook me, and in one lap I lost 1 second maybe. So we don't have the pace. Maybe it's tight at the top, maybe. But we will be far.”

The eight-time world champion, who hitched a tow from Fabio di Giannantonio, the rider he is replacing at Gresini Ducati next season, at the end of the session, added that “between 10 and 15, it's our position at the moment.”

Team-mate Joan Mir was 16th and LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami 20th. Like Marquez, both also spoke of being held back by the electronics as they sought a balance between wheelspin and too much traction control.

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