BURIRAM (Thailand) – Soccer world championship leader Fabio Quartararo took a big loss at the Thai Grand Prix on Sunday, finishing 17th on a rainy afternoon that saw Italian rival Francesco Bagnaia close by two points, three races from the finish.
Portugal’s Miguel Oliveira (KTM) proved the most resistant to wet conditions, winning his second event of the season, after Indonesia in March…on an already wet track.
“I can’t complain, I’m always quick and wet,” smiled the rider, who will join Aprilia-RNF in 2023.
He beat out the duo of Jack Miller and Banaya on the Ducati factory team in Buriram, who snatched valuable points in the title chase.
He fell to 18 points after Japan last weekend, where he retired due to a fall, and Biko stands just two units away from the ever more trembling Kwarta on his throne.
“The race for the title will be more intense. We must be very smart. Our potential is very high, but I must not make mistakes like in Japan,” Bajnaya stressed.
He explained, “When I saw the rain before the race, I got nervous. But Jack (Miller) told me to believe in myself.”
– Quartararo is silent after the race –
Heavy rain delayed the start of the race by 55 minutes, but it calmed down by the time the drivers wrestled – before making a comeback after the podium ceremony.
Quarta, who does not like wet tracks, watched it from afar: starting from fourth, he was 17th at the end of the first lap, disastrous.
Niçois was never able to get the rhythm back, stuck in a peloton. He finished outside the top 15, synonymous with points, for the first time since the Aragon Grand Prix in 2020 – excluding retirements.
He dried up his point with the press after the race as well as with the announcer, a rare incident that disappoints him.
In addition to Bagnaia, now Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) also feels the wind in his back. Eleventh in Buriram, he is 20 points behind Quertaro, in an outside position.
Frenchman Johann Zarco (Ducati-Pramac) settled for fourth, while his pace at the end of the race gave him a glimpse of a better result.
“If the track had dried out three laps before, I would have passed Pecco (Bagnaia) and I would have had the speed to get Jack and Miguel,” admitted the Kahn national who had his best result since the German Grand Prix in June.
The rain reminded his study of Italian novice Marco Pesicchi (Ducati-VR46), Pullman on Saturday but only on the 16th the following day.
– Moto2’s red flag –
Marc Marquez, spoke about his experience as a six-time world champion, with fifth place confirming his return to the level, after a summer spent in the dispensary due to a new operation on one arm.
In Moto2, where the race lasted only eight laps due to bad weather, Italian Tony Arbolino, who at the time of the red flag was first synonymous with getting back into the pit, won the tympani.
The gap narrowed to 1.5 points in the world championships between Augusto Fernandez and Ai Ogura.
The Thai diesel Sumkyat Shantra crashed in the first laps.
Before the shower, in Moto3, Italian Dennis Foggia (Leopard) won his fourth race of the season, ahead of Japan’s Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna). Spain’s Izan Jefaira (Jasgas), fifth in the world championship, topped the list.
The circuit has been rigorously tested with three races over the past three weeks, and the circuit will be blown up next weekend, but at a distance from its base camp.
Australia looms on October 16, then Malaysia (October 23). The 2022 season ends on November 6 in Valencia.