Indonesian MotoGP 2022: Oliveira takes Rain-hit Mandalika     
Miguel Oliveira (KTM) has taken a dominant and unexpected win at a rain-hit 2022 Indonesian GP. The Portuguese rider performed a faultless drive on the dangerous asphalt of the Mandalika Circuit, beating a sensational Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) by 2.2 seconds. 

The defending champion, who tends to struggle in the wet, managed to come afloat after a bad start. His French compatriot from Pramac Racing, Johann Zarco (3.1s) came in third after an also remarkable performance. Despite being an accomplished pilot in wet conditions, Jack Miller (Ducati) had to make do with fourth. 

Following this result, Qatar GP winner Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) retains the leadership of the World Championship with 30 points. Brad Binder and Fabio Quartararo are second and third in the standings, two and three points behind the leader respectively. El Diablo has therefore been, without a doubt, the greatest beneficiary of the day.

The race had to be delayed for an hour and a quarter and shortened from 27 to 20 laps following a torrential storm. At times, it was feared that the event would have to be cancelled altogether particularly after some lightning struck the racetrack. 

The biggest absence at the Asian GP was Marc Márquez, who couldn’t take the start after suffering from concussion following a brutal accident during warm-up.

Oliveira and Miller escape   

Quartararo managed to keep hold of his pole at the start followed by Oliveira, Miller, Rins and Martín. On the second lap, however, Oliveira executed a lightening climb from seventh to first place. Copying the Portuguese pilot, Miller moved up six places to second leaving Fabio behind. In the blink of an eye, El Diablo had fallen from first to third place. 

In just four laps (16 left for the checkered flag), Miller and Oliveira had broken away from Rins by 2.4 seconds. It was then that the Portuguese regained the lead and moved away from the Australian. With 14 laps to go, he was 1.1 seconds ahead. Behind Miller came Rins, Zarco, Quartararo, Mir, Martín, and Morbidelli.

Oliveira leaves Miller behind 

 Eleven tours to go and fast lap after fast lap, Oliveira had extended his distance with Miller to 2.6 seconds. He was unstoppable. Behind them, Rins was keeping a close eye on Zarco who was getting dangerously close to his domains. 

Meanwhile, Quartararo continued hanging on to fifth and trying to stay afloat amidst some of his most dreaded conditions. Zarco sat a great pace to come 0.7s behind Miller, who was running third after having devoured Rins. Quartararo had also passed Rins for fourth with eight laps to go. 

A few meters later another exciting battle broke out between Zarco and Miller for third with the Frenchman from Pramac Racing flying a second faster than the Aussie. Taking advantage of the fighting behind, Oliveira opened almost four seconds with Miller who was being pressured by Zarco. Meanwhile, Quartararo remained in fourth.

Oliveira sets course to victory  

With Oliveira flying solo for the champagne, the excitement of the final stretch concentrated in the battle for second place between Zarco and Miller but, amidst the showdown, Quartararo passed them both.

With only five laps remaining, Yamaha’s Frenchman passed Miller & his compatriot from Pramac for third place. El Diablo’s recovery had been nothing short of miraculous. With three laps to go, he had already broken away by 1.3 seconds over Zarco. Miller kept his fourth place ahead of both the Suzukis of Rins and Mir. Of course, Oliveira had won the race a few seconds before.. 

Images of the Indonesian MotoGP 2022:

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