2022 Buriram MotoGP Race Result: Rain Throws A Spanner In The Works

Sunday’s action in Thailand got underway with the premier class not having done one single lap in wet conditions, so it only made sense that a downpour would wreak havoc in Moto2 and leave MotoGP in a bit of a pickle. Riders were still drinking coffee in their teamwear by the time the race was supposed to get underway, proceedings delayed until conditions allowed for a more sensible opening lap. Not that the premier class grid is able to do sensible, as demonstrated an hour later, when the race finally got underway to a backdrop of lightning bolts – but more reasonable levels of rain. At the end of 25 tricky laps on a drying track, Miguel Oliveira claimed his second victory of the season, ahead of fellow rain shaman Jack Miller, while Pecco Bagnaia overcame recent wet weather woes and the oopsie in Motegi to return to the podium in third place.

The start of the race was a very different story, with poleman Marco Bezzecchi making a good start, only to run wide at the first corner and invite a slight nudge from Jorge Martin. Both Ducati riders took to the run-off but Martin was off worse, losing a few positions, while Bezzecchi opted to shortcut the track and resume control of proceedings. Meanwhile, Miller, Marc Marquez and Luca Marini had launched from the third row of the grid straight into the top six, followed by Oliveira, Enea Bastianini, Johann Zarco and Brad Binder in the early top 10. Having started 13th, Aleix Espargaro progressed a couple of places early on, knocking on the doors of the top 10, while teammate Maverick Viñales lost a lot of ground at the start and dropped down to 22nd position. The expectation that Fabio Quartararo would be the one taking on the Ducati armada was quickly shattered, as the Frenchman was another of the victims of turn one, where he found himself on out outside of Miller and guided off track, followed by a few more mistakes that dropped him all the way down to 17th position by the end of the opening lap.

Back at the front, Bezzecchi had stretched a one second gap over the first lap but was soon prompted to drop one position for gaining some of that advantage off track. By the time the rookie saw the message, Miller was the beneficiary of that penalty, having gotten past Bagnaia on lap three. The chasing group now led by Oliveira was seven tenths back, including Martin, Marini and Marc Marquez, with Zarco not too far back and a fast-starting Alex Marquez leading the next group one second behind.

Miller got handed the lead at the start of lap four, Bezzecchi slotting back into second position ahead of Bagnaia, while teammate Marini suffered an uncharacteristic crash out of fifth. Having lost one challenger, Oliveira was soon attacking Bagnaia for third, with Marquez fending off Martin, Zarco and the other Marquez. As for the rest of the title contenders, Bastianini was another second back in ninth, Espargaro kept steady in 11th position and Quartararo struggled to recover any places early on.

Miller carried on untroubled at the front until Oliveira became his main challenger on lap six, the KTM rider being the fastest man on track at that stage. An unsettled Bezzecchi soon allowed Bagnaia and Marquez past, although the trio had dropped over a second behind the two leaders and never truly recovered that. There was a threat from behind as well, where Alex Marquez was harassing the Pramac riders for sixth position. Bastianini and Espargaro were still inside the top ten, but the Spaniard was soon slapped with a long lap penalty for an earlier tangle with Binder, which had lost the South African some good ground. The sanction dropped Espargaro down to 14th position, behind teammate Viñales, who was slowly starting to pick up the pace. While Espargaro was still inside point-scoring positions, things went from bad to worse for Quartararo, who had dropped to 19th by lap 10.

Back ahead, Oliveira first attacked with 18 laps to go but it was short lived, and Miller resumed control of proceedings, the duo further dropping Bagnaia and Marquez two seconds back. Meanwhile, baby Marquez had ditched Zarco, Martin and a fading Bezzecchi into Bastianini’s clutches and seemed keen to catch up and spend some more time with his older brother.

At the halfway point of the race, Miller and Oliveira were holding station at the front, although the KTM man was still sniffing around for an opportunity. With Bagnaia and the Marquez brothers not within reach of each other at this stage, eyes were on Binder and Espargaro, who were trading places once again, while charging towards the top 10. Poleman Bezzecchi continued his decline, down to 16th at that stage, while Quartararo was going nowhere down in 18th.

Oliveira finally made a move stick at the end of lap 14, taking over the lead of the race and fending off Miller’s attempts to retaliate. Bagnaia and Marquez were not fully out of victory contention with 10 laps remaining, the Italian’s gap to the leaders down to one and a half seconds, however, much of the progress was down to Miller losing touch with Oliveira, the KTM putting one second’s worth of asphalt between itself and the Ducati within a couple of laps. Although Miller was relatively within reach, Bagnaia had trouble brewing from behind, with Marc Marquez glued to his rear wheel with eight laps remaining. The Honda man bided his time to actually make a move, but got a hurry-up from Zarco, the fastest man on track at that late stage of the race. The Frenchman had gotten past the other Marquez a few laps earlier and closed within a second of the elder with six laps remaining, quite significantly faster than the four men ahead on the drying track.

Oliveira and Miller were managing their respective gaps for the remaining handful of laps and although Miller got reasonably close on the last lap, victory stayed firmly with Oliveira. Meanwhile, all eyes were on the battle for the final podium position, where Zarco had squeezed past Marquez at turn eight and set his sights on Bagnaia. The Frenchman was a little more cautious in attacking his colleague and although he was glued to his rear tyre for the next few laps, he never had a go and allowed the Italian seven tenths of breathing room going into the final lap. Marquez let his podium ambitions go for final couple laps, cruising home into fifth position, while Bastianini found some late pace to claim sixth in the final three laps. Meanwhile, Viñales got over the underwhelming start to show good speed late on, overtaking Alex Marquez for seventh position on the last lap. Martin and Binder rounded out the top 10 places, with Espargaro 11th but still making up a significant bunch of points in the world title battle, as Quartararo couldn’t muster anything better than 17th, one place behind poleman Bezzecchi.

After another shocking day at the office, Quartararo heads to Australia with only two points of advantage over Bagnaia in the championship standings. Espargaro is 20 points back and Bastianini also slightly reduced the gap to 39 points, with Miller another point behind.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 41:44.5030
2 43 Jack Miller Ducati 0.730
3 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1.968
4 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 2.490
5 93 Marc Marquez Honda 2.958
6 23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 13.257
7 12 Maverick Viñales Aprilia 14.566
8 73 Alex Marquez Honda 14.861
9 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 15.365
10 33 Brad Binder KTM 18.097
11 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 19.041
12 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 19.659
13 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 22.439
14 44 Pol Espargaro Honda 23.646
15 25 Raul Fernandez KTM 30.483
16 72 Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 33.466
17 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 34.072
18 49 Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 36.203
19 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 36.532
20   Danilo Petrucci   42.508
21 40 Darryn Binder Yamaha 49.992
22 45 Tetsuta Nagashima Honda 51.346
23 10 Luca Marini Ducati 0.000
Not Classified
  87 Remy Gardner KTM 18:40.5960
Round Number: 
17
2022
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Comments

You have a way with the written word, Zara Daniela. That is a very entertaining read, even for a guy that has already seen the race.

Grazie mille.

Zarco is a company man. I agree with Crafar that Zarco was paying Ducati back for saving his career. His pace dropped one second per lap after passing Marquez.

It's a shame that KTM and MO88 couldn't (or weren't willing to) cut a deal. On his days he does it flawlessly i could only imagine that for some of the KTM brass the gap between Oilveira's good and bad days were to big and the good days were to rarely. I still have a bad feeling about the RNF squad next year, with the main sponsor out i assume they are going from rather no fund to really no fund.

Fun race

Evidently Red brass immediately went to chat with Pramac after the race. The one near contact into the back of Bagnaia by wet weather Zarco was a step too far. Perfect defense aside from that. Pecco never knew thankfully, surely does now.

Viva Miller! And, he must have kinship with Oliveira, both fish changing seats. P Isl next? Have to favor Jack.

Called it on Aleix overreaching today. Brad got him, clean pass, had a right to make a paint returning touch. He's class, AND fast.

All the track limit warnings? Inline 4 lines. If you DON'T get a few green paint excursions you are leaving time on the table. T1 demands it, ask Martin.

Poor Quartararo! Out of the points, no unforced errors. The wet is an equalizer? Not for Yamaha. Concern for Fabio's emotional wellbeing and focus. Opposite for Yamaha brass! Jarvis has a lemon slice in his pursed mouth all race. After the finish line Fabio looked right with concern...screen and positions? Bit of fear in the eyes?

Hard braking reigning Champion?

Heart breaking raining champion. Sorry mate. Keep everything zipped.

Marquez, he's thriving. Lots of ice and advil, but he is back. His brother looked good too, Honda looking on an uptick.

Never saw Petrucci. If Marini's bike had been operable post crash he'd have been a Blue flag. Wondered if we might get a lapper today.

Raining Champion? Oliveira!

:)

I didn't wear any shirt, it's been hot. Had sushi. I think that helped HRC? Bastiannini was strong, so I can finally wash his jersey. Whew! Triumph shirt now, headed to Cycle Gear for a new dirt helmet and ADV pants. 

See you in Australia! 

Ask Fabio!

"The first ten laps of the race were probably the scariest experience of my life. The visibility was none. But thankfully everybody was wise enough to not do any crazy moves or try crazy stuff in the areas where visibility was zero. The first ten laps went through with nothing much going on. That was really surprising, but also a relief. After that, the real race started. I could extract some pace from my package, and I was quite fast actually. But when I reached other bikes, I couldn't overtake or do much more, so I needed to step back and bring the bike home.”

He walked straight out of the garage after the race and cancelled his subsequent media activities, going to his changing room to relax.

Meregalli..."We did not talk to Fabio after the race, because he was probably really disappointed and frustrated and went straight to his office to cool down, It's also difficult for us to judge [what happened] until we speak with him. We have to talk to him, check the data and see if they match." Ouch!

Surely Crutchlow has something different to say. "I expected a lot more but as you can see today it wasn’t Yamaha’s day. We couldn’t lean the bike, couldn’t go around the corner. Too much heat in the front tyre, too much pressure in the front tyre, The tyre pressure was just so high - already on the first lap of the race."

“I was in a group with Fabio. Fabio couldn't turn the bike, couldn't lean the bike over, the front wheel was not following the corner. I had exactly the same feeling. I had a high pressure the whole race. Way, way too high and we would have been and should have been better than 19th today. I knew already in the warm-up lap that this bike was not going to be great."

Holy Blue turds!

“I had to push a lot with the rear because the front was so high pressure and so hot that I couldn’t ride with the front wheel, so I had to ride with the rear. I passed Fabio, he was behind me by one second or something. It came down to 0.4. I was not gaining on the guys in the front and wasn’t going to be in the points so I left him past. But he stayed in the same position I was in before. Bad weekend for Yamaha all around. It’s unfortunate because I think if it’s a dry race, we would have all had good races, from our pace. But we expected more in the rain as well because Fabio was on the podium in Mandalika. Then we come here and we are absolutely nowhere. And Fabio’s a good wet weather rider. So it’s a shame."

I love Cal with a microphone, always have. Little filter. Asked who makes the call on tyre pressures, “The wrong person. They should let the riders fix it! I know what I used to run. And I know what I run now…”

Another strange race. No preparation. Most, if not all riders suffering to various degrees with front tyre pressure. I think Fabio got on the kerb lap one, lost all drive, got passed by a lot of riders and found himself in a fog bank....Aragon must have seemed very relevant. However, Fabio was losing roughly 2 tenths in sector 1 to Oliveira, half a second in sector 2 and again in sector 3 but competitive times in sector 4. Fabio was less than 1 second slower than Oliveira on only 3 laps ! I have no idea when he went 'quite fast'. Over 6 seconds lost in the first 3 laps. Only lost 0.7 on the fourth lap and from there on he was losing between 1 to 2 seconds per lap bar one 0.8s. 25 lap race, 35 seconds off the lead. That was an Aragon 2020 disaster. That was more than an inline 4 vs V4 or a Yamaha vs the grid...that was a Yamaha vs front balloon kryptonite and I suspect some nerves. Even if Yamaha are having a bad day, as much as we might love him, Cal is currently a good whack behind Fabio wet or dry. Yamaha had a bad day, Fabio had a bad day too. I think that's why he vanished.

I think so. Maybe the front pressure he started the race with was especially wrong. Most of the riders are where you would expect them to be. A few exceptions, Oliveira doing his usual 'when possible...will do', Marini dropped it, Raul had a good race etc. Rins struggled but near top ten, not to far from average wet or dry. Bez seemed to have a race similar to Fabio. Lap 1 I think he had the big advantage of seeing where he was going. Bez had a good lap 1 and from there on was going backwards losing heaps in sector 1 and sector 2, still fast in 3 and 4 though. Of the Yamahas Cal is where you would expect, Darryn also, Franco too. Maybe Fabio just had really bad troubles but he is a long way from an expected finish. Before the race I would think around 5th, get lucky maybe a podium, a little bad luck and 10th, somewhere 5th to 10th. Finished 17th...should have been 18th out of 22 riders on the same lap.

Since the San Marino GP, Ducati has instructed all of its riders to not fight Bagnaia too hard for positions that were not victories or podiums.

“It's clear. [I can be] Incisive on Marc, less incisive on Pecco,”

“The track really dried out on the last five laps, the last four laps, and it was too late to think about winning. But still... The sooner I manage to pass Pecco, maybe I can try something and get away from [Miguel] Oliveira.

But as there was really only one line and when we got away the bike slipped, well it was still complicated. Two laps passed, and two laps before the end we saw that the victory was not there.

“So, it was good to play it smart. These are conditions in which I am aiming for victory, because I am comfortable in these conditions.

“I was hoping that it would dry out a bit earlier, because at the beginning with a lot of water it was very complicated, you can't see the rider in front, and so even if you brake late... maybe you can get through, but you don't want to make a disaster either.

“And that's what was tricky in combat. It was a good weekend and a good race, because fourth place in conditions like this is long, it's hard, but it's nice to finish with points, a good place and almost a podium... let's say [I] left to Pecco. Since Misano we have some race instructions, difficult to apply when we are not fighting with Pecco, and until now it was not the case.

But today it was the case, and for a victory Ducati doesn't block anything; for places other than podium, yes we give the advantage to Pecco. But here, in these conditions, it was the victory we had to aim for. Fourth is very good.”

Senior Ducati management went straight to the Pramac garage after the race, with Zarco saying the marque’s general manager Gigi Dall'Igna thought his decision not to force the issue on third place with Bagnaia was “gentlemanly”.

“The championship is missing, I've already missed too many races [to score points], and how can I say... Gigi was very emotional.

“To have left the podium he thought it was very gentlemanly of me. But we saw that I was at ease behind, but as soon as we left this [racing] line it became risky and it would have been a shame to make a big mistake. So that's it. I was clearly well received by Ducati, they said a big thank you.”

^ BOOM

I have brand loyalty with Ducati for many reasons that I won't bother getting into, but they've done a lot for me in the past and pulled some strings, waved their magic wand and helped create some private family memories that will never be forgotten. My gratitude is immense.

But Corse are so f*'ing hard to like sometimes, and no this isn't just about team-orders/an offer you can't refuse type of stuff. This recent spectacle needs to join a very long line of previous dysfunction, disrespect and even outright spite towards their own riders, fans and competitors.

I guess you could say it's a bittersweet love/hate relationship.

I hear you Damo! 

(As usual folks, skip or skim my lengthy posts, nothing personal - they clearly aren't for everybody)

Cheers

When I talk motogp with my wife and my friend P I always complain about Ducati Corse management (they way they've dealt with Dovi, Petrux, Lorenzo etc), but this time I feel they're doing just fine and they are acting way better than usual.

I mean everybody complains against team (or factory) orders, there is no space for this in motorcycle racing, look how much better we are than F1 etc... but what are Tardozzi and Ciabatti saying: no team orders! we will think about it in Valencia! Pecco doesn't want any! what we said to our riders to be "smart".

And that's what's happening, difficult to argue otherwise: did Jack yesterday slowed down and let Pecco get his second place? Did Enea not try his maximum in two races to win against Pecco? Is anybody giving free points to Pecco?

Ohhh right, Zarco not overtaking Pecco; he "followed orders" for some. What I see instead is Zarco acting smart exactly as asked  by any team manager. Don't throw away your good result (and Zarco did throw away a lot of good opportunities); don't do stupid attacks agains somebody who's trying to win his championship. Zarco was smart, he saw the danger in leaving the racing line, and I believe that he woudl have acted the same if Quart was in front of him rather than Pecco.

I know what is upsetting most (some) people: Tardozzi running back and forth to Pramac and Gresini box, all the things he *must* have said, about letting Pecco through etc. But these are only theories, as far as I know nobody's actually asked Tardozzi what exactly he has said.

So let's just keep to the facts. Pecco is doing all on his own. He's not had any gifts. All this talk about team orders are somehow affecting the perception of Bagnaia's performances. And once again: Ducati Corse this time is not acting poorly -- an improvement from the past.

 

I agree completely. Ducati have handled their riders so poorly in the past that they have disgusted me but this time they seem to be playing it right - go for the win and don't be stupid around the championship contender(s). In my opinion that is how it should be played. I have an opinion of Tardozzi, too, but when you can't say anything nice...

If you look at the closing speed of Zarco to Bagnaia then clearly he let him off the hook. No matter if its ordered or not, that does not belong in motorcycle racing.

Totally agree with you, except I also saw ONE moment where Zarco had to go wide on a R turn not to touch the back of him 1st. 

I misread GiGi bolting over there. Red management looked worried. My error

 

I think it's fair to expect Zarco and any other rider to be a little nervous when passing Fabio, Pecco or Aleix. I don't think anybody wants to be the rider who decides the championship like Darryn in Portimao last year. That is especially true when the other rider is a team mate. Wet weather too. If Zarco had any doubts it would be better to not try. A little doubt, a little nervous, the confidence erodes a little...all it needs to make a right mess of it. I can only imagine the 'French connection' conspiracy theories which would explode as a result.

The speed difference at that stage he should have been able to make a clean pass. He did not even try seriously. He will end up like Miller  but without the wins 

Depends. He zooms up to Pecco, he thinks twice, starts to imagine what could happen, feels the front a bit more than the lap before and that's that. A few years back people were giving Lorenzo grief for not letting Dovi past. Pedrosa was branded an idiot in 2006. Rossi walked a thin line with Lorenzo in 2010. The list goes on and that was in the dry. I think if a pass presented itself, a mistake by Pecco for example, Zarco would have took it but to make a pass, in the wet, with huge ramifications if it goes wrong, just to please all the people who want the risk for their own reasons...not a chance. Very reasonable, very sensible.

Also, even if a pass presented itself and Zarco stayed behind to give Pecco as many points as possible...normal. He's still behind in the points.

Zarco probably knows he’s already at the apex of his career. After pramac he will probably never again earn as much, be looked after as much, or get to ride such a great bike. Given his self-destruction a couple of years back he has a lot to thankful for (I.e. owes Ducati) and, as one of the “thinkers” on the grid, I’m not surprised that he applied intelligence to the situation. Nor am I that bothered, this kind of thing is as old as the hills and happens in every kind of sport. It’s no different, really, to (hypothetically) Franky busting a gut to overtake Bagnaia just to deny him a point or two; or for that matter, Cal slacking off to let Quarty through, even though it made no difference. It’s all part of racing.

Martin has said in an interview that if he had been in Zarco's position, he would have fought Pecco for the podium. What a pointless statement.

It's not just that. It's saying, 'I am this', 'I am that' etc....but he wasn't in that position because he wasn't this and he wasn't that, he was 5th Ducati in the race. No point talking about choices post fact when you were not in a position to make them. I really hope he comes out next year less Ali and more demonstrating his pace with consistency rather than constantly telling us how great his pace is (finishes [maybe] a lot lower). 5th Ducati in the points, 5th Ducati in the race...5th Ducati end of story....yet he has it in him, somewhere, to be the fastest Ducati.

It probably says something good about MotoGP that young Jorge can be so blissfully unaware of corporate manners and memories. No doubt he'll learn, over time, to keep some thoughts to himself.

Bezz says Martin hit him big into T1 early on causing them to run wide, resulting in his "drop 1 spot" penalty.

He was complaining about stewards, but ok as it mattered little. Martin overran T1 routinely. 

He is a good rider, but he is fidgety/wiggly on the bike, a bit too intense in the head, takes risks, and can be inconsistent and oddly focused. 

Viva Bastiannini AND late season Red Miller. I hope they succeed in Australia.

Next year the increased competition between Pecco and Enea will be good for them. Friends, Italians, FAST, very different temperaments, one non - VR46. 

As a rider and personality, Bastiannini is more akin to Vale than Pecco. Italy may end up split in support. Looking fwd.

The thing is Nicky was right. Anything can happen on any given Sunday. Race direction may dictate that the majority of the riders have to race blind for several laps. What if Ducati had given company orders back in Misano and Bastiannini had allowed Bagnaia to win at Aragon, and yet Bastiannini ends up second in the championship to Quartararo by four points after Valencia? Ducati would have created exactly what they least want. Best to let them race with clear minds until the math points to only one Ducati rider with a shot at the title.

I've been hoping for some bad luck to come Fabio's way, especially after Motegi but now not ! Enough bad luck for everyone involved. 2 points in it. I just hope they get to do it all on track without any non finishes. Anything can happen, I just hope it's not a no-score for Fabio or Pecco....or maybe a no score for Fabio AND Pecco would be better. It's been a long time since the last Valencia decider...think it was 2017 ? Nothing quite like a decider, no 'could win it this race' but if not then next race etc...this race, you win it, you lose it, good luck, bad luck, no matter, it's now or never. Fingers crossed we get it.

Marc leaving a 30m++ skid-mark from the front end and in his pants before picking it up on the elbow and going on to win it all at Valencia in 2017.

Yeah the last time it was the last round. Lorenzo wont let Dovi pass. Doesn't matter, Marc's off. No he's not. Now it really doesn't matter because Dovi's off.

I was thumbing through the screens on the Multi today and couldn't find Mapping 8 no matter how hard I tried.

…seem to be eminently sensible team “orders” when a championship is on the line. Saying that this shouldn’t happen in motorcycle racing is misunderstanding the commercial importance and the brand pride that Ducati (or any other manufacturer in the same position) place in the Riders Championship. The season is playing out beautifully and I will be in the Champions Club at Phillip Island hoping for a great race and a JM 43 win!