MotoGP Sunday: Grand Prix Of Mandalika, Race Reports

Advertisment

On a rain-soaked Sunday afternoon at the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) put in an absolute masterclass in wet conditions at Mandalika to claim victory and bounce back in style from a tough opening round. Press release and photos: MotoGP…

Reigning World Champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) sliced back through to second for his first podium of the season, ahead of compatriot Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) in third. The win for Oliveira sees KTM head the Constructors’ standings for the first time, as well as putting Red Bull KTM Factory Racing top in the teams’ title fight thanks to their Qatar podium and, now, first victory of the season.

The drama began early on Sunday, however, as Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) suffered a huge crash in Warm Up and was forced to miss the race due to concussion. Then, after Moto2™, the rain came down as thunderstorms hit Lombok, but after more than an hour’s delay, at 16:15 local time, it was lights out in Indonesia for the first time in 25 years. Quartararo got an outstanding launch from pole position, comfortably collecting the holeshot, as Oliveira made a lightning start from P7 to grab second and Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) shot swiftly up to P3 from sixth on the grid.



At the start of Lap 2, both Oliveira and Miller passed Quartararo as the early pacesetters started to stretch their legs, with the Australian then picking off Oliveira for the race lead too. Now down in third, Quartararo had Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), compatriot Zarco and a rapid starting Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) for company too –  the 2020 Champion up from down the grid after a nightmare Q1.

Rins and Zarco then got the better of Quartararo early on, but they faced an already substantial 2.4s gap to Miller and Oliveira… and that order was about to switch. The Portuguese rider carved his way past the Ducati of Miller at Turn 12 on Lap 6 to retake the lead, and then he got the hammer down.



Meanwhile, there was a big moment for Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), the Italian somehow staying on after a snap into Turn 1. Still, he slipped down to P12 behind Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), with Championship leader Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) struggling even more, dow in P20 from fifth on the grid.

Back in the top ten though, Turn 1 was about to bite again. Having just got the better of Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) for P7, Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) then became the first and only crasher of the race in the braking zone into the first corner, the 2021 Rookie of the Year down, out, but ok.

 

At the front, there were no such dramas. Oliveira had stretched his lead to 1.6s, Miller was second, Rins third, Zarco fourth, and Quartararo fifth with 12 laps to go. At half race distance though, Zarco was the quickest rider on track and a quality move came on Rins at Turn 12 for P3. Miller wasn’t far up the road from the Frenchman either, and he looked desperate to pass the Australian as Quartararo really started to find his groove behind them. Sure enough, El Diablo was back into P3 with five laps to go, with he and Zarco fighting it out in spectacular style.

Oliveira was 3.5s clear as the battle raged behind, but with Quartararo now the fastest rider on track and back up to second on Lap 16 of 20. Zarco also managed to follow the Yamaha man through on Miller, and with three laps to go, it suddenly started to look like Oliveira might be in the crosshairs after all. The gap was slashed by a second and the lead was down to 3.4s – was it game on?

Quartararo took a tenth more here and there as the laps ticked down, but Oliveira responded. At the start of the last lap, it remained a healthy 2.8s and the Portuguese rider just needed to bring it home, with Quartararo enjoying a 0.9s buffer to Zarco, who in turn had 2.3s in hand over Miller. The podium seemed decided, and it was.

Crossing the line for his first win of the year, Oliveira’s masterclass sees the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider take 25 points, puts KTM on top in the title and factory fights, and moves him up 16 places in the riders’ Championship to boot. After a tough start in Qatar and for much of the latter half of 2021, it was quite a statement ride by the multiple MotoGP™ winner.



Nevertheless, Quartararo celebrated P2 like a win as the Frenchman showed his wet weather prowess for the first time in the premier class, taking some valuable points too. Zarco completed the podium, the third place marking a return to the rostrum for the number 5 for the first time since Barcelona 2021.

Miller, always strong in the wet, takes home a hard-earned P4, with Rins putting in a solid ride to claim P5. P6 for Mir, having started from the lower echelons of the top 20, is also a job well done for the 2020 World Champion too, and he got onto the back of his teammate by the flag. Morbidelli ended up a somewhat lonely P7 despite his three-place grid penalty as we witnessed an almighty battle for P8 behind the Italian.

 

It was won in the end by Brad Binder, who was just ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) over the line. But the South African had to get his elbows to take that eighth place by force, and it was none other than his brother, WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP™ Team’s Darryn Binder, standing in the way.

The rookie put in a tour de force and one of the rides of the day, leading the battle for eighth onto the final lap before Brad Binder struck, then only losing out to the number 33 and Espargaro’s Aprilia. Number 40 claimed his first points and top ten after a barnstormer, top rookie by some margin.



World Championship leader Bastianini, who retains that moniker by two single points ahead of Brad Binder and recovering well in the latter stages, took P11 ahead of Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team), Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) and Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team). Bagnaia slipped down the order after his earlier moment to a tough P15, making it one point from the opening two races for one of the pre-season title favourites. Andrea Dovizioso (WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP™ Team) was the only other non-finisher after the Italian encountered an issue with his YZR-M1 and was forced to retire.

That’s take one on Lombok in the history books, and it’s safe to say the Indonesian GP was full of action. Oliveira goes home with the race-winning trophy, Bastianini remains the title leader, and there’s only 10 points between the top nine heading to Argentina for Round 3… as well as a new manufacturer on top in the standings. 


Miguel Oliveira: “Emotionally it was a rollercoaster because the start was perfect but in the wet it’s so hard to judge where the limit is. So I followed Jack for a couple of laps and then I understood I could go a bit faster, so when I overtook him I just tried to focus for the next five laps to do the maximum I could. Then I built a gap and just managed throughout the whole race, but for sure it wasn’t easy.”

“The last couple of months haven’t been easy for me so to be back like this with this incredible win, it’s really emotional. I promised my daughter I would get her a trophy from Indonesia, so this one is for you baby. I want to dedicate this podium to a guy called Rizman, he’s part of the staff in the hotel I’ve stayed in, he has been supporting me the whole week and he’s a really nice guy, so I promised that if I was on the podium I’d dedicate it to him. Let’s go to Argentina, see what we can do, keep up the level but for now I’m just super happy to be here on the podium!”


 


MotoGP™ PODIUM (Full Results Here)

1 Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – KTM – 33’27.223
2 Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) – Yamaha – +2.205
3 Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) – Ducati – +3.158


Moto2
Somkiat Chantra is the first Thai rider to win a Grand Prix race! The Idemitsu Honda Team Asia rider led from the first corner to the chequered flag in a Moto2™ masterclass, coming home three seconds clear of leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team, with Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) collecting his second podium of the season in third – and remaining the rider on Vietti’s tail in the standings.

It was announced that the new race length would be 16 laps due to track conditions, although the intermediate class had a dry race barring some drops of very light rain on the warm up lap. The race got underway on slicks though though and it was Chantra who pinched the holeshot from the second row, with polesitter Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) P2 before Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) snuck past at Turn 2.

The rain was still lingering but Chantra held onto the lead from Lowes and Dixon, with Vietti eventually getting the better of Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) as the Italians battled it out at the end of the opening lap. Canet was a beneficiary of the Vietti/Corsi fight too, the Spaniard into P4 and in touch with Lowes and Dixon.

On Lap 6, just after passing compatriot Lowes for second, Dixon then tucked the front at Turn 10. Just ahead, Chantra had opened the gap up to over a second, and after Dixon’s crash, Canet was left in second ahead of Lowes. Vietti then passed the Brit and with nine laps to go, two seconds split the top three. Vietti made a classy move on Canet stick at Turn 12 not long after, and the gap to bridge was 2.1s with eight laps remaining…

The response from Chantra? The fastest lap of the race. His lead over Vietti went up a tenth, and on the next lap, it was up to 2.3s. By five to go it was 2.6s, and it looked like Vietti and co. had no answer for the Thai star. With two laps to go, the gap was over three seconds and it seemed decided: all Chantra had to do was bring it home.

That’s exactly what he did. The Thai rider crossed the line to claim an outstanding victory by over three seconds, becoming the first rider from his nation to win a Grand Prix race. Vietti was able to take a valuable second and 20 points though, the Qatar winner extending his lead over Canet as the Spaniard completed the podium. For both, it’s back-to-back podiums to start the season.

Lowes was a lonely finisher in P4 as Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) held off a charge up from a tough grid position for Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) in P5 and P6, respectively. Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up) took an impressive P7, with Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) in eighth. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) claimed ninth after his Long Lap Penalty given for crashing under a yellow flag in practice, the Spaniard embroiled in a great battle with Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team), who ultimately lost out.

Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) took P11, just ahead of compatriot Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) less than a tenth behind him. Jorge Navarro (Flexbox HP40), rookie Jeremy Alcoba (Liqui Moly Intact GP) and Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) completed the top 15.

And so a little history is made at Mandalika, with a new rider and nation on the list of winners. Vietti extends his title lead to nine points over Canet heading to Argentina, but it will surely be a another classic. Come back for more in just under a fortnight as Termas de Rio Hondo plays host!


Somkiat Chantra: “I feel so happy! I also don’t believe it! On the last lap, I saw I was P1 and I saw the chequered flag and I was like ‘oh I’m in first position!’ It’s also my first time here in Moto2…I’m really happy. I also would like to say thanks to my family. I want to thank my sponsors, Thai Honda. Also thank you to Idemitsu Honda Team Asia and next leg I will be more strong! See you then, bye!”


Moto2™ PODIUM (Full Results Here)

1 Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) – Kalex – 25’40.876
2 Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) – Kalex – +3.230
3 Aron Canet (Flexbox HP 40) – Kalex – +4.366


Moto3
That’s about as good as it gets if your name is Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing). The Italian dominated the Moto3™ race at the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia to claim his first victory of the season – and the World Championship lead with it. Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) picked up a hard-fought P2, with polesitter Carlos Tatay (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) brilliantly recovering from a Long Lap Penalty to earn a maiden Grand Prix podium in third.

There was drama before the race started for second on the grid Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI), with the Brazilian rookie suffering an issue with his machine and forced to start from the back of the grid. Back at the front, Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) grabbed an impressive holeshot from seventh on the grid, with Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) and Foggia making their own great starts from the second row.

 

Foggia made it to the front and was joined by Migno, Garcia and Guevara, with the quartet able to pull a gap in the opening five laps. Foggia then decided to put the hammer down and the Italian was 1.5s clear on Lap 7 of 23, as Championship leader Migno had a front-end scare at the final corner. By Lap 9, Foggia’s lead was up to 3.2s, with Guevera opening up a 0.5s gap in second place. 

Garcia had slipped back into the clutches of Migno, Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3), Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max), but the Spaniard suddenly turned up the wick to reel in Guevara with 10 laps to go. By this stage at the front though, Foggia had checked out – his lead up to 5.1s.

With Foggia producing a flawless race, it was all eyes on the battle for second. Guevara, Migno, Öncü, Garcia, Masia, Holgado and Sasaki were now joined by Xavier Artigas (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP), Elia Bartolini (QJMotor Avintia Racing Team), Tatay and Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing).

Heading onto the final lap, Guevera was 0.9s ahead of the charging Tatay and Garcia. Foggia was four seconds up the road and cruising to victory, and Tatay was then wide at Turn 10 to allow Garcia into the final podium position. But at the penultimate corner the number 99 struck back, keeping it over the line and coming home behind Guevara.

At the front though, no one had an answer for Foggia as he popped a wheelie over the line to confirm his dominant victory, still more than two seconds clear at the flag. Guevara’s second is his first podium of the season, and for Tatay the incredible charge to the podium marks his first visit to the rostrum, as well as the first for CFMoto.

Garcia took fourth but some solid points, just two behind Foggia and in second, with Öncü completing the top five. Artigas took P6 ahead of Masia after the number 5 escaped a tangle with Öncü late on, with Bartolini, Holgado and Suzuki completing the top ten. Sasaki and Migno crashed on the final lap – the Japanese rider tagging the back of Migno at Turn 10. The number 71 has been given a Long Lap penalty for the Moto3™ race in Argentina.

Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI) beat Kaito Toba (CIP – Green Power) to 11th, with a trio of rookies completing the points. The first was Scott Ogden (VisionTrack Racing Team) as the Brit finished close to the Japanese veterans just ahead, impressing with his first Grand Prix points.

Then came the home hero: Mario Aji (Honda Team Asia). The Indonesian took an incredible front row on Saturday and backed it up with his first points on Sunday despite a Long Lap, taking a big step forward on home turf. Matteo Bertelle (QJMotor Avintia Racing Team) took the final point in P15, the Italian rookie crossing the line a couple of tenths behind Aji but after having taking two Long Lap penalties – the first for a shortcut, and the second for failing to take the first.


Dennis Foggia: “I don’t have words. It was so hot. It was incredible, the race. Yesterday, I was unlucky in the qualifying because I crashed when I was being fast, but finally I finished in 6th position. Now, I know that we had a good pace for the race. In the last lap, it was impossible to breathe, it was so hard. This my best hard race in my life. Incredible. I’m very happy for me and for my team. I would like to thanks to all my team, my family, all my friends and my girlfriend. See you in Argentina!”


Moto3™ PODIUM (Full Results Here)

1 Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) – Honda – 38’51.668
2 Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) – GASGAS – +2.612
3 Carlos Tatay (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) – CFMoto – +3.639

 

More from author

RELATED POSTS

Advertisment

Latest posts

MotoE Riders Answer Questions Ahead Of Mugello Weekend

The FIM Enel MotoE World Cup returns this weekend to take on the new challenge of the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello. It's the Cup's...

Riders Assemble At MotoGP Mugello Press Conference

The Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley, Mugello is nigh and the pre-event Press Conference at Mugello saw Championship leader Fabio Quartararo joined by second on...

Aussies Racing Abroad: May 2022 Update

With many Australians showcasing their skills abroad in a range of disciplines both on-track and off-road, our new column focuses on how they're faring...

Want to stay up to date with the latest news?

We would love to hear from you! Please fill in your details and we will stay in touch. It's that simple!