The Kingdom of Thailand put itself in a sporting spotlight over the weekend, drawing more than 220,000 paying spectators and close to 800m TV viewers worldwide to a hitherto little-known rural town, 400km from Bangkok. It was a huge success that can be put down to inspired management of successful circuit, government and corporate partnerships and a policy of local community inclusion that is characteristic of the growing economic and social success of Buriram in recent years.
Another nerve-jangling showdown between Andrea Dovisioso and Marc Marquez was clinched at Chang International’s notorious last corner on the last lap. The deciding move is one that will have everyone who has ever turned a wheel with intent at the Buriram circuit playing and replaying to figure out how the 25-year-old two-wheeled wizard actually pulled it off to take his seventh win of the season.
The big news at the start of Saturday was that Jorge Lorenzo withdrew from Round 15, following the vicious beating dished out by his malfunctioning Ducati in Free Practice on Friday. As the show went on, world championship leader, Marc Marquez gave himself extra work after a crash at Chang International’s fast Turn 4 in FP3 put him into Qualifying 1.
Ducati’s Andrea Dovisioso narrowly came out on top in Friday’s MotoGP free practice, as less than one tenth of a second split the fastest four in a dramatic opening day at Chang International Circuit and less than a second separated the first 17 riders.