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 compatriot Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) into second as major drama unfolded at the last corner – with Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) taking out pole sitter and Championship contender Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP). That meant points leader Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) extended his lead with a phenomenal P4 finish despite serious struggles with the fitness of his left hand in Thailand.
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 as the freight train thundered down into Turn 3. But 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. 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. That pushed the Italian into the grasp of Bastianini, Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP) and Martin.
After executing the final sector to perfection, Di Giannantonio was able to hold the inside line at the tight final corner to take the win but the race would end in disaster for some of those just behind. Bastianini ran in too hot, tucking the front as he pulled up behind teammate Dalla Porta and then left as a passenger as he slid out and collected Bezzecchi.
That meant Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46) was able to stay out of trouble to claim a maiden Grand Prix podium in third, with the Italian staging an incredible comeback from P25 on the grid. Martin, putting in another stunner of a performance, crossed the line in fourth to capitalise and extend his lead in the Championship to 26 points.
Just behind the Spaniard, Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) was another on a charge and 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 and yet another rider to put in a sensational performance.
Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) claimed his first top ten of the season in seventh, with Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) eighth. Wildcard Somkiat Chantra (AP Honda Racing Thailand), meanwhile, was one of the riders of the day as he took ninth – a magnificent ride from the Thai rider in his home race and first appearance. Kornfeil, who ran wide at the final corner to avoid Bezzecchi and Bastianini, crossed the line 10th.
There was heartbreak for Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) as the Japanese rider put on a great Sunday show after top pace throughout the weekend and then crashed out courtesy of some slightly too-close racing, with drama also hitting Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) as he suffered an incident with Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team).
That’s it for the lightweight class at the PTT Thailand Grand Prix, with Martin securing what looked like an unlikely title race lead: 26 points is now the gap back to Bezzecchi. Race winner Di Giannantonio is just three points behind his compatriot in the overall standings now too, and Japan awaits the field next time out. Will there be another twist in the Moto3™ Championship tale?
Moto3™ Race Results
1 – Fabio Di Giannantonio (ITA) HONDA 38’10.789
2 – Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA) HONDA +0.135
3 – Dennis Foggia (ITA) KTM +0.466
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