Thailand Moto3: Di Giannantonio wins madcap Buriram race

Fabio Di Giannantonio came out on top in a wild first ever grand prix motorcycle race in Thailand, while Marco Bezzecchi's Moto3 title hopes took a major hit when he was taken out at the last corner.

Thailand Moto3: Di Giannantonio wins madcap Buriram race

Gresini Honda rider Di Giannantonio, who recently secured a promotion to Moto2 for 2019 with the Speed Up team, overcame his rivals in a chaotic race around the Buriram Circuit.

He was one of four Italian riders who spent the 22-lap race exchanging the lead, often multiple times per lap, along with Bezzecchi, Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Dennis Foggia.

Having been shuffled towards the bottom of the top 10 in the middle of the race, Di Giannantonio fought his way back to retake the lead on lap 16, triggering a frantic three-way fight with Dalla Porta (Leopard) and Foggia (Sky VR46).

Di Giannantonio barged his way through to lead once more at the final corner with five laps to go, and after dropping places on the long run down to Turn 3 the next time round, Dalla Porta took over out front.

Bezzecchi was briefly bumped down to sixth on lap 20 but then managed to slingshot his way back into the lead at Turn 3 on the penultimate lap and led heading into the final tour.

Despite managing to avoid being slipstreamed into Turn 3, Bezzecchi was powerless to hold off Dalla Porta and Di Giannantonio in the following corners, with the latter seizing the advantage.

Di Giannantonio finally crossed the line by 0.135s to take his second grand prix victory from Dalla Porta.

Bezzecchi looked well-set for third place, only to be hit by Dalla Porta's Leopard teammate Enea Bastianini at the final corner in an incident that wiped out both riders.

That elevated a fading Foggia to his first ever podium finish in Moto3, ahead of points leader Jorge Martin (Gresini), Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA) and Vicente Perez (Avintia).

Martin had only qualified 15th after struggling with pain in his left hand, but with the help of a modified Alpinestars glove he battled his way through the order to finish fourth and stretch his championship lead to 26 over Bezzecchi.

Di Giannantonio now finds himself only three points adrift of Bezzecchi in third.

Several riders crashed while running in the leading group, with Darryn Binder (Ajo) squandering a podium chance by coming to blows with Albert Arenas (Aspar) in the early laps.

Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas) was likewise well in the fight for the lead when he fell, while compatriot Kazuki Masaki (RBA) was a victim of light contact with Martin.

Erstwhile title contender Aron Canet withdrew from the Thailand race due to the after-effects of his first-corner crash at Misano last month. His stand-in at the Estrella Galicia squad, Jeremy Alcoba, was 18th.

Race results:

Pos. # Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 21 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio  Honda 38'10.789
2 48 Italy Lorenzo Dalla Porta  Honda 0.135
3 10 Italy Dennis Foggia  KTM 0.466
4 88 Spain Jorge Martin  Honda 0.980
5 19 Argentina Gabriel Rodrigo  KTM 1.084
6 77 Spain Vicente Perez  KTM 1.232
7 8 Italy Nicolo Bulega  KTM 1.312
8 42 Spain Marcos Ramirez  KTM 1.440
9 35 Thailand Somkiat Chantra  Honda 1.643
10 84 Czech Republic Jakub Kornfeil  KTM 1.718
11 16 Italy Andrea Migno  KTM 3.386
12 27 Japan Kaito Toba  Honda 3.613
13 65 Germany Philipp Ottl  KTM 4.130
14 14 Italy Tony Arbolino  Honda 4.319
15 7 Malaysia Adam Norrodin  Honda 4.657
16 9 Apiwath Wongthananon  KTM 4.802
17 5 Spain Jaume Masia  KTM 4.884
18 52 Jeremy Alcoba  Honda 23.915
19 81 Italy Stefano Nepa  KTM 23.964
20 22 Japan Kazuki Masaki  KTM 59.390
Ret 12 Italy Marco Bezzecchi  KTM 1'13.285
Ret 33 Italy Enea Bastianini  Honda 1 Lap
Ret 17 United Kingdom John McPhee  KTM 2 Laps
Ret 41 Thailand Nakarin Atiratphuvapat  Honda 3 Laps
Ret 71 Japan Ayumu Sasaki  Honda 9 Laps
Ret 75 Spain Albert Arenas  KTM 16 Laps
Ret 23 Italy Niccolo Antonelli  Honda 18 Laps
Ret 24 Japan Tatsuki Suzuki  Honda 18 Laps
Ret 40 South Africa Darryn Binder  KTM 19 Laps
Ret 72 Spain Alonso Lopez  Honda 19 Laps

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