Oliveira defeats Miller to score Thai MotoGP win as Quartararo fails to score

Miguel Oliveira Japanese MotoGP. 1 October 2022 // Gold & Goose / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202210010277 // Usage for editorial use only //

Miguel Oliveira defeated Jack Miller in wet conditions to secure a second MotoGP win of 2022 in the Thailand Grand Prix, while series leader Fabio Quartararo failed to score.  

The 25-lap encounter – which got underway an hour behind schedule due to a heavy rain shower which made track conditions too dangerous to start on time – began still with some precipitation on track, which allowed the likes of Oliveira and Miller to make good progress in the early laps.

Miller had managed to pass team-mate Francesco Bagnaia for second by the end of the second tour, which would soon become the leadership after pole-man Marco Bezzecchi was forced to drop behind the factory Ducati pilot due to running out wide at Turn 1 on the opening lap.

Oliveira meanwhile was relishing the wet conditions on his KTM, the Portuguese rider carving through the top ten across the opening third of the race until he finally caught up to Miller, with a move for the lead coming at the final bend soon after – though Miller clung on.

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The pursuing RC16 shadowed the Aussie across the following sequence of circulations before trying once again at the final bend – this time making the move stick.

Oliveira managed to craft around a seconds-worth of an advantage though this was as far as Miller would let him escape, and despite a late-race resurgence from the Ducati he ultimately was unable to mount an attack – leaving Oliveira to take the chequered flag just 0.730s clear of Miller.

The real winner of the day was Bagnaia though, who managed to complete the podium in conditions he usually struggles in to carve a commanding 16 points out from Quartararo’s championship lead after the Yamaha rider struggled badly – the Frenchman coming home a disastrous 17th having lacked speed throughout.

Johann Zarco looked good to make a late-race pursuit for a maiden win after setting a plethora of fastest laps, though was eventually forced to settle for fourth ahead of Honda’s Marc Marquez.

Enea Bastianini ended up sixth on his Gresini Ducati ahead of Maverick Vinales’ Aprilia, with Alex Marquez eighth on his LCR Honda having faded back having run fifth in the early stages.

Jorge Martin was ninth on the second Pramac Ducati, while Brad Binder completed the top ten on the other factory KTM having passed Aleix Espargaro on the final lap – the Spaniard forced to recover from a long-lap penalty for pushing the South African off on the opening lap.

Bezzecchi meanwhile struggled after dropping behind Miller, the VR46 man falling all the way to 16th just ahead of Quartararo in the end – compounding a bad day for the Valentino Rossi-owned outfit after Luca Marini crashed from sixth early on.

Danilo Petrucci managed to make progress from 24th on the grid to 20th in his first race on Suzuki’s GSX-RR, with team-mate Alex Rins ending up 13th.

Bagnaia now has just a two-point gap to make up on Quartararo with only three races left to run this season, with Espargaro having closed his deficit to the Yamaha man to only 20 markers.

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