Danilo Petrucci was among the many riders to offer his congratulations to Marc Marquez on clinching the 2019 MotoGP title in Thailand on Sunday.

Marquez has dominated the season with nine wins from 15 races to seal his eighth world championship with four rounds still to go.

Meanwhile, Petrucci is one of the four other riders to have won a race this season and is currently locked in a close fight for third in the standings.

"It's very difficult to say that Marc is beatable over a championship," Petrucci smiled. "For sure there are some riders that can beat him in a race. I am one of the few this year. But his worst result is a second-place so for sure he deserves this title.

"Also a big congratulations to Fabio, who is really fast with a satellite bike. And then also Vinales is very fast and unfortunately for me he is now a contender for third place in the championship!"

Suzuki's Alex Rins holds third in the standings by four points over Vinales, with Petrucci one point further back after a disappointing ninth-place finish in Buriram.

The factory Ducati rider made a good getaway from fifth on the grid, but was then swallowed by the pack on the long run down to Turn 3 - an unusual situation given the Desmosedici's top speed prowess.

"I don’t understand why I exited the first corner in fourth position and at the end of main straight I was in eighth," Petrucci said.

"For sure we decided to have an [engine] map to save tyres and fuel, so we have to check why I was so slow at the beginning. I don’t think it was a [technical] problem."

But it wasn't just on the opening straight that the Mugello winner was puzzled by his lack of pace.

"For sure I'm not satisfied because after the first five laps my gap to Dovi was about 5-seconds. And then over the next 20 laps it was only another 5-seconds. So the pace [after five laps] was not bad and the gap to Dovi about two-three tenths a lap. But I have to understand why I was slow in those first five laps.

"Anyway, I pushed a lot to try to catch Valentino but when I was two-seconds behind I did a mistake with the gearbox, the gear went in but then when I closed the throttle the gear went out again.

"A ninth place is not really good because I wanted a top five, but I missed a lot at the beginning of the race and I don’t understand why. We have to check. Then it was a little step forward compared to the last races, but for sure it's not the way I want.

"We are still fighting for third in the championship but Vinales at the moment is very strong and always on the podium and it's very difficult to say I'm faster than him. So he's another contender with Rins for the 'podium' at the end of the championship."

Team-mate Dovizioso finished in fourth place and looks set to finish title runner-up yet again, holding a 48 point advantage over Rins in the world championship.

 

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