Marc Marquez said he performed better in QP1 than he did in the decisive second qualifying session after the Repsol Honda rider secured pole for the Thailand MotoGP round, despite a costly spill in FP3.

The championship leader became the first rider to seal pole position - his 50th in the premier class - after progressing from QP1, even though Marquez said his QP2 lap was less than perfect.

Marquez, who seized the top spot with a lap in 1m 30.088s to edge out Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi by 0.011s, said: “I’m happy how I finished the day but honestly, this morning we were very unlucky because when I put the new tyres for the time attack, we had a small problem on the bike and then I go in, we didn’t have time to change the front tyre, and I go out with the second bike.

“It was not the set-up that I like and the front tyre had 20 laps, the hard, and I lose the front and crashed. It is a risk if your strategy is to prepare a lot for the race, then you have only once chance to come in QP2, but then in the afternoon we managed in a good way.

“We were able to be competitive in FP4 with the used tyres, even also in QP1 I ride really good and in QP2 maybe I pushed too much and I made some mistakes, I missed some apexes and I didn’t make my perfect lap, but even like this I was able to be in the pole. I’m happy because the front row was my main aim today,” added Marquez.

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“It was not my intention to be in QP1 and I was very disappointed this morning because all weekend I feel really good and everything was ready to be straight away to QP2. But it was time to go in QP1, but honestly speaking I was riding much better in QP1 than in QP2.

“I was pushing too much in QP2, over the limit, but in QP1 I was smooth and the lap time comes easy and I expect it will be ’29 in QP2, but then I pushed more and I did more mistakes.”

Marquez expects the hard rear tyre option will be the primary choice for Sunday’s race at the Chang International Circuit, when he feels Andrea Dovizioso, Rossi and Maverick Vinales will pose the biggest threat.

“Honestly speaking, I think everybody will be with the hard rear. Tyre life here is important, it is very hot, and I think everybody will be with the hard,” said Marquez.

“On the paper now, Dovizioso looks very strong, looks like he is the fastest one, we are very close, and also both Yamahas are very fast in FP4 – it will be tough but the last ten laps in the race will be crucial because the tyre will drop a little bit, but happy how we are working with the team.”

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