Despite treacherous conditions, Miguel Oliveira dominated the 20-lap race at Mandalika to win the fourth MotoGP win of his career and his first ever Indonesian MotoGP win.
As MotoGP returned to Indonesia after a 25-year absence, KTM rider Miguel Oliveira put on a wet-weather masterclass, holding off reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo in a thrilling battle to win the Indonesian Grand Prix in Mandalika.
The current world champion Fabio Quartararo, who started from pole position on his Yamaha, finished 2.205 seconds behind the Portuguese KTM rider as Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco finished third.
Marc Marquez, the six-time MotoGP champion, was forced to withdraw from the race, Indonesia’s first since 1997, after sustaining a concussion during the warm-up practice.
Due to safety concerns induced by excessive track temperatures, the race was cut to 20 laps from 27 before the start was repeatedly delayed due to torrential rain.
However, after a lengthy delay, the first-ever race at Mandalika got underway, with Fabio Quartararo leading into turn one from pole position.
Jorge Martin had a poor start, falling from second to sixth in the first few corners, like he had done in Qatar. With the rainy conditions proving to be a challenge for Quartararo, the world champion dropped from first to third in just two corners as Oliveira took over the lead from Jack Miller.
Ducati’s Jack Miller, who is one of the best riders in wet conditions, took the lead from Oliveira on lap two. Meanwhile, Quartararo was under tremendous pressure from Alex Rins and Johann Zarco heading into turn 10, and the Ducati racer executed a great move on the brakes.
Quartararo, who was struggling for both outright speed and straight line speed, was quickly reduced to fifth place when Rins and Zarco passed him in consecutive turns.
After posting a new best lap, Miller began to feel the heat from Oliveira, who was determined to reclaim the lead. On the fifth lap, the KTM rider achieved just that, passing the Australian by over a full second on just one lap.
Andrea Dovizioso had to retire due to a fault with his M1 Yamaha at the start of lap eight, while Jorge Martin became the first rider to crash out of the race.
On the entry to turn one, the Pramac rider, who was clearly working hard to recover from a terrible start, lost the lead. The Spaniard now has zero points from two races as a result of his mishap.
Miller was steadily slipping back into the clutches of Rins and Zarco, who could scent a first podium of 2022 as Oliveira continued to set fastest laps.
Zarco, on the other hand, made the first overtake between the three as he drifted around the outside of Rins, putting him on the inside for turn 12. Zarco began to quickly reel in Miller after no one stood between him and the factory Ducati rider.
Rins was relegated to sixth place behind Miller and Zarco as pole sitter Quartararo began to display excellent late-race speed. Zarco was later overtaken by Quartararo for third place at turn 15 because he took too long to get through on Miller.
Zarco attempted to retaliate at turn one, but, like in his attempt to pass Miller, the 31-year-old raced wide, nearly colliding with Quartararo as he returned to the racing line with Quartararo on his inside.
Quartararo wasted no time in taking off Miller’s Ducati for second with four circuits to go after his move for third.
Zarco finally made his move on Miller stick for third as the Yamaha rider closed up on race leader Oliveira, but it was too late to try and keep up with Quartararo.
Meanwhile, Quartararo cut Oliveira’s lead in half in as many laps, but the KTM rider, who was obviously in charge of the pace, replied and maintained a comfortable lead until the final lap.
With the top five riders, Oliveira, Quartararo, Zarco, Miller, and Rins, maintaining their positions, a six-rider duel erupted behind Joan Mir, who came from P18 to take sixth, and Franco Morbidelli, who finished seventh.
Darryn Binder appeared destined to hold onto P8 after a thrilling battle with championship leader Enea Bastianini on the penultimate lap – the pair swapped positions four times in five turns – but it was Darryn’s brother Brad who overtook Aleix Espargaro for eighth.
Darryn managed to finish in the top ten for the first time in MotoGP, while Bastianini finished 11th for Gresini Racing Ducati.
INDONESIAN MOTOGP, MANDALIKA – RACE RESULTS
|1||Miguel Oliveira||POR||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||33m 27.223s|
|2||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+2.205s|
|3||Johann Zarco||FRA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||+3.158s|
|4||Jack Miller||AUS||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||+5.663s|
|5||Alex Rins||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+7.044s|
|6||Joan Mir||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+7.832s|
|7||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+21.115s|
|8||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+32.413s|
|9||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||+32.586s|
|10||Darryn Binder||RSA||WithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*||+32.901s|
|11||Enea Bastianini||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)||+33.116s|
|12||Pol Espargaro||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||+33.599s|
|13||Alex Marquez||SPA||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+33.735s|
|14||Luca Marini||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)||+34.991s|
|15||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||+35.763s|
|16||Maverick Viñales||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||+37.397s|
|17||Raul Fernandez||SPA||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||+41.975s|
|18||Fabio Di Giannantonio||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)*||+47.915s|
|19||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+49.471s|
|20||Marco Bezzecchi||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*||+49.473s|
|21||Remy Gardner||AUS||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||+55.964s|
|Jorge Martin||SPA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||DNF|
|Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||WithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)||DNF|
|Marc Marquez||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||DNS|