Thailand GP 2022: Oliveira wins in the wet and the championship gets tighter than ever

Miguel Oliveira (KTM) has won the Thailand MotoGP 2022 at the Chang International Circuit after the rain pushed the start of the race back for almost an hour. This is Olivera’s second victory of the season after Indonesia and fifth of his MotoGP career. Jack Miller, winner in Japan last Sunday, arrived 0.7 seconds behind the Portuguese pilot, while his Ducati teammate, Pecco Bagnaia completed the podium, thanks to the invaluable help of Johann Zarco. 

The Frenchman from Pramac Racing could have overtaken the Milanese rider in the final laps but he stayed put as a gesture to Borgo Panigale team. This became obvious when, after the race, officials from the Italian factory team went to the Pramac box to thank Zarco for staying behind. Marc Marquez (Honda) finished one place below in fifth from a starting eighth place. All in all, a good performance from the Spaniard although expectations were a slightly higher for him. 

The greatest loser on the day was Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha). The reigning champ suffered a total shipwreck in Buriram, finishing out of the points. In a performance as disappointing as it was unexpected, he lost thirteenth positions from his starting place to finish seventeenth. This is his second blank finish in the last three Sundays. 

The other crown contender to disappoint in Thailand was Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia). A penalty after touching Brad Binder sent him from tenth to fourteenth position, and subsequently, he was ‘only’ able to climb to eleventh place.

There he got stacked and was unable to resume his comeback, seriously damaging his title bid. Quartararo is still narrowly keeping his lead of the standings with 219 points, two more than Bagnaia (217) and 20 more than Aleix (199). The World Championship is red hot! 

 

Bezzechi hangs on to first place but is penalised  

Bezzechi was able to hang on to his first starting position after going off track in the initial corner of the Thai MotoGP 2022, preceding the official Ducatis of Bagnaia and Miller. Quartararo, on the other hand, fell from fourth to seventeenth in the blink of an eye. Total disaster! Meanwhile, Bezzechi, who had broken away from the pack, had to give up the lead to Miller with 22 laps to go in order to avoid a penalty for his initial manoeuvre. Bagnaia remained in third place. 

At the same time, Oliveira was coming in like a rocket from eleventh place, devouring Bagnaia, third, and Bezzechi, fourth, to take second behind Miller. The Australian and the Portuguese pilots broke away with 19 laps remaining, engaging in their private duel and distancing themselves from the rest of the pack at the Thai MotoGP 2022. Bagnaia was behind at 0.3s in third, and Marc Marquez followed in fourth.  With 16 laps still to the end, Aleix had to serve a long lap penalty, dropping back to the back of the track as a result. 

 Oliveira passes Miller for victory  

Five laps on and Oliveira had managed to leave Miller behind, who attempted to get his position back unsuccessfully. The Portuguese rider increased his pace in order to open a crucial few metres at the top. Meanwhile, with eight laps to go, Marc was closing in on Bagnaia, third. Zarco inadvertently was getting hot on Marquez’s heels thanks to a succession of fast laps.  

The Frenchman from Pramac was then able to take advantage of a small mistake by Marc when he was trying to overtake Pecco to move up to fourth place. Then he started his chase of the latter until he was within his range but decided not to attempt a pass as a gesture to the Ducati factory. By then, Oliveira had already won ahead of Miller, with Bagnaia completing the double podium for the red machines.  

Images of Thailand GP 2022: Michelin.

 

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