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A crucial fifth place in the searing tropical heat is enough for Alex Márquez to leave Thailand with a 40-point advantage in the Moto2... Alex Márquez extends Championship lead in Thailand, DNF for Xavi Vierge

A crucial fifth place in the searing tropical heat is enough for Alex Márquez to leave Thailand with a 40-point advantage in the Moto2 title race while Xavi Vierge fails to finish due to an unfortunate crash.

Some of the year’s most punishing conditions awaited the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders for the 15th round of 2019. The 24-lap race around the 2.83-mile Chang International Circuit got underway in ambient temperatures of 32 degrees.

Alex Márquez was involved in a thrilling four-man fight for second and eventually finished fifth. A crash for Xavi Vierge on lap 11 ended his race early.

Alex Marquez
“It was a little tougher than we expected before the race. Our rhythm was good but already in the warm-up I saw that it was quite difficult to keep the pace. The conditions changed a little bit and it was more difficult for me. Anyway it was a good performance and we fought hard. I tried to stay towards the front to finish on the podium. In the end it wasn’t possible but fifth place means more points for the championship. Our lead is now two points more and we have one less race. So it’s positive. We have 100 points still to play for but a 40-point advantage so we need to keep pushing like this.”

Xavi Vierge
“First of all I want to say sorry to the team for my mistake. All weekend was really good. We chose the right tyres and had a good pace. From yesterday to this morning in the warm-up we saw that we had a problem. We fixed it for the race, but when you do a bad warm-up the problem is nobody respects you. I had a lot of problems when a lot of riders hit me on the first lap. I lost a lot of positions and after that I tried to catch the guys in front. I made a mistake at turn five. I lost the front and crashed. It’s a pity because we had the pace to fight with the top guys. We need to take the positives from this weekend and look forward to the next one.”