Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) claimed his second career victory in what was an explosive Moto3™ race at the PTT Thailand Grand Prix. The Italian produced a stunning final lap to beat Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) who crossed the line second as major drama unfolded at the last corner – Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) taking out pole sitter and Championship contender Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP), allowing title race leader Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) to extend his lead with a phenomenal P4 finish.
The breathtaking action started from the word go as Bezzecchi got the perfect launch from pole to lead into the first corner, with Kazuki Masaki (RBA BOE Skull Rider) and Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) slotting in behind the Italian who led the freight train down into Turn 3. Despite his best efforts, Bezzecchi wasn’t able to make the break as the top 18 locked horns for a classic lightweight class battle. Di Giannantonio soon made his way to the front after being forced wide by the aggressive starting Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), the South African looking strong before getting caught up in a tangle with Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) with both riders going down on lap four – riders ok. The battle raged on back on track as the race lead swapped and changed countless times, lap after lap, with Martin sitting patiently just inside the points with 10 laps gone.
In typical Moto3™ style, with just six laps to go in Thailand, 1.8 seconds covered the top 18 – the winner being anyone’s guess at this stage. Heading into the final lap though, it was Bezzecchi who had the advantage and he managed to use the KTM grunt to hold it into Turn 3, but then Di Giannantonio and Dalla Porta slipped by on the run back up to Turn 4 to push the Italian into the grasp of Bastianini, teammate Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP) and Martin. After executing his race to perfection, Di Giannantonio held the inside line at the tight final corner to take the win but the race would end in disaster for Bezzecchi, sitting third and in a position to take the lead in the title race, Bastianini went for the overtake – running in too hot, tucking the front behind teammate Dalla Porta and swiping away the front wheel of Bezzecchi – DNFs for both.
This left Dennis Foggia (SKY Racing Team VR46) to claim a maiden Grand Prix podium in third after hitting the front midway through the race from P25 on the grid, with Martin crossing the line in fourth to extend his lead in the Championship to 26 points. Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) was in the hunt throughout, eventually taking home P5, with rookie Vicente Perez (Reale Avintia Academy 77) picking up his best result of the season in sixth – a sensational performance from the young Spaniard to keep tabs with the leading group throughout.
Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46) claims his first top ten of the season in seventh, with Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) eighth, just ahead of wildcard Somkiat Chantra (AP Honda Racing Thailand) in ninth – a magnificent ride from the Thai rider. Kornfeil, who ran wide at the final corner to avoid Bezzecchi and Bastianini, crossed the line 10th.
Andrea Migno (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) was 11th, Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) came home 12th ahead of 13th placed Philipp Oettl (Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing), Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) – who led the race at one point – takes home a P14 and Adam Norrodin (Petronas Sprinta Racing) completes the point scoring positions in P15.
Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Masaki, Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), teammate Tatsuki Suzuki, home hero Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (Honda Team Asia), Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) all crashed – riders ok.
Martin retains what looked like an unlikely title race lead at one stage, 26 points now the gap back to Bezzecchi with Di Giannantonio just three behind his compatriot in the overall standings now. Japan is next, will there be another twist in the Moto3™ Championship tale?