Miguel Oliveira masters wet for Indonesian MotoGP win

Miguel Oliveira was the rain master at the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia as he claimed his fourth race victory for Red Bull KTM.

By Maurice Montgomery
Monday, 28th March 2022, 4:24 pm
Miguel Oliveira won the Indonesian Grand Prix from Fabio Quartararo and Johann Zarco.
Miguel Oliveira won the Indonesian Grand Prix from Fabio Quartararo and Johann Zarco.

The first Indonesian Grand Prix in 25 years was delayed by over an hour due to torrential rain and lightning.

When the lights finally went out for the start of the 20 lap race, reduced from 27, it was reigning World Champion Fabio Quartararo on the Monster Energy Yamaha who led the field, from pole position, into the first corner.

By lap two Oliveira was out front with Lenovo Ducati’s Jack Miller second. Quartararo was beginning to slip back from leading duo. Miller and Oliveira were opening a gap over the chasing pack now led by Ecstar Suzuki’s Alex Rins, Johann Zarco on the Pramac Ducati, Quartararo and the second Suzuki of Joan Mir.

From lap five the Portuguese rider was out front and no-one was catching him as he crossed the line over two seconds clear of Quartararo, who found his rhythm to snatch second from Zarco four laps from home.

Miller had to settle for fourth with the two Suzuki’s of Rins and Mir completing the top six.

Oliveira said: “Emotionally it was a roller coaster. The start was perfect but in the wet it is so hard to judge where the limit is, so I followed Jack (Miller) for a couple of laps then I understood I could still go a bit faster.

“When I overtook him I just tried to focused for the next five laps and did the maximum I could. I pulled the gap and just managed it for the whole race. For sure it was not easy.

“The last couple of months have not been easy for me so to be back like this with this incredible win is really emotional. I promised my daughter I would get her a trophy from Indonesia, so this one is for her.”.

Quartararo was delighted with his second place.

“I didn‘t expect this! Already from the warm-up lap it felt like we had something extra compared to normal, because we know that we always struggle in wet conditions.

“When it‘s full wet and there‘s grip, I know my potential. But today I did better than I expected. I saw an opportunity and went for it. These are super-important points.”

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez never made the start as he was ruled out on medical grounds after a massive high-side in Sunday morning warm up.

Somkait Chantra become the first Thai rider to win a motorcycle Grand Prix when he claimed a convincing victory in the Moto2 race for Honda team Asia.

The race distance was reduced from 25 to 16 laps after track conditions at the Mandalika circuit deteriorated.

Jake Dixon started from pole and was lying second behind run away winner Chantra when he crashed out at Turn10 on lap five.

It left fellow Brit Sam Lowes in second ahead of Aron Canet and championship leader Celestino Vietti. With spots of rain falling Lowes dropped back to finish a safe fourth behind Vietti and Canet at the flag.

Italian Leopard Honda rider Dennis Foggia was a convincing winner of the Indonesian Moto3 race.

The 21 year-old came through from the second row to lead the 23-lap race on lap four.

He had disappeared into the distance by the chequered flag, crossing the line over four seconds clear of Spaniard, Izan Guevara on the Gaviota GasGas Aspar.

Pole-setter Carlos Tatay fought back from a long lap penalty to claim third and his first Grand Prix podium for CFMoto racing, after a hectic last lap battle with Sergio Garcia and Deniz Oncu.

British rider Scott Ogden scored his first world championship points finishing 13th on the Vision Track racing Honda with team mate Joshua Whatley 20th.