KTM's Oliveira wins rain-affected Thai GP as title race hots up
KTM rider Miguel Oliveira held his nerve in rainy conditions to win the Thai Grand Prix in Buriram on Sunday (October 2) as Francesco Bagnaia made up significant ground on world championship leader Fabio Quartararo who finished 17th.
Oliveira crossed the line 0.730 seconds ahead of Ducati duo Jack Miller and Bagnaia at the Chang International Circuit, in a race significantly delayed by rain.
"The track was quite tricky in some points, especially in a few straights we had low visibility and aquaplaning, so this was the main issue for me in the beginning, " said Oliveira, who also showcased his wet-weather skills this season in his victory at the Indonesia MotoGP.
Bagnaia was made to work for his third-placed finish by Pramac Ducati's Johann Zarco, but held on to reduce Frenchman Quartararo's lead in the standings from 18 points to two.
Quartararo had a disastrous start to the race, dropping down from fourth on the grid to 17th place on the first lap before ending up outside the points.
Aprilia Racing's Aleix Espargaro also regained ground in the overall standings as he reduced the gap between him and Quartararo to 20 points despite finishing 11th after being given a long-lap penalty for a collision with Brad Binder.
Honda's six-times MotoGP champion Marc Marquez finished fifth, ahead of Enea Bastianini and Maverick Vinales, while Marquez's brother Alex was eighth.
Pole-sitter Marco Bezzecchi could only manage 16th place after being forced to relinquish his lead early on due to a position drop penalty.
In Moto 2, Italy's Tony Arbolino was declared the winner after torrential rain caused the race to be shortened. Arbolino had just overtaken Filip Salac for the lead with Aron Canet in third at the end of lap 8 when the race was red-flagged. After two failed attempts to restart, half points were awarded. Championship leader Augusto Fernandez finished seventh.
Dennis Foggia of Italy, who started on pole, took the chequered flag in the Moto 3 race ahead of Ayumu Sasaki and Riccardo Rossi. Foggia is now up to second in the championship standings, 49 points behind Izan Guevara who finished in fifth place.