Moto2 Indonesia: Chantra takes historic first win in shortened race

Honda Team Asia’s Somkiat Chantra eased to a historic maiden Moto2 victory in a shortened Moto2 Indonesian Grand Prix as poleman Jake Dixon crashed out.

Somkiat Chantra, Honda Team Asia

The Thai rider was absent from the season-opener in Qatar due to injury, but shot from fourth on the grid to dominate a Moto2 race that had its lap count cut from 25 to 16 due to safety concerns over track conditions in the extreme Indonesian heat.

At lights out, poleman Dixon got the best launch on his Aspar Kalex, though was mugged into Turn 1 by a fast-starting Chantra.

Marc VDS rider Sam Lowes demoted his fellow Briton Dixon down to third, while Chantra immediately opened up a lead of half a second.

Despite sport of rain falling on circuit as dark clouds above the track threatened a heavy downpour, Chantra was never thrown off his stride.

While the racing behind him proved frenetic, Chantra continued to ease away from the chasing pack, his gap up to eight tenths by the third lap.

Lowes continued to chase Chantra, but would soon be overtaken by Diixon as the Aspar rider looked to stop the Honda Team Asia runner out in front from clearing off.

Somkiat Chantra, Honda Team Asia

Somkiat Chantra, Honda Team Asia

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

But just as he’d taken second, Dixon’s hopes came to a cruel halt as he crashed at Turn 10.

Lowes was released back into second, but Chantra was now 1.5s clear of the field and kept swelling that gap.

Coming under no pressure through to the chequered flag, Chantra took a first win for himself and for a Thai rider in any class of grand prix racing by 3.2s.

Lowes found himself shuffled out of second as the likes of VR46 rider Celestino Vietti and Pons Racing’s Aron Canet charged up the order.

Qatar winner Vietti would eventually find his way into second to extend his championship lead to nine points over Canet, who completed the podium at Mandalika.

Lowes had to settle for fourth, 3.5s behind Canet, while Ajo KTM’s Augusto Fernandez slid from second on the grid to fifth in the race ahead of the sister Honda Team Asia bike of Ai Ogura.

Impressive Speed-up rookie Fermin Aldeguer was just 0.312s from a top six in seventh, with Tony Arbolino eighth on the second of the Marc VDS bikes.

Reigning Moto3 world champion Pedro Acosta had to serve a long lap penalty for crashing under yellow flags in practice.

The Ajo rider dropped to 15th when he served his punishment on lap four, but recovered to ninth for his first top 10 result in the Moto2 class.

Acosta got the better of Albert Arenas on the sole-remaining Aspar bike at the chequered flag.

2022 Moto2 Indonesia Grand Prix: Race results

Cla # Rider Bike Gap
1 35 Thailand Somkiat Chantra Kalex  
2 13 Italy Celestino Vietti Ramus Kalex 3.230
3 40 Spain Arón Canet Kalex 4.366
4 22 United Kingdom Sam Lowes Kalex 7.918
5 37 Spain Augusto Fernandez Kalex 12.228
6 79 Japan Ai Ogura Kalex 12.384
7 54 Spain Fermin Aldeguer Boscoscuro B-21 12.696
8 14 Italy Tony Arbolino Kalex 14.547
9 51 Spain Pedro Acosta Kalex 17.786
10 75 Spain Albert Arenas Kalex 18.327
11 16 United States Joe Roberts Kalex 18.509
12 6 United States Cameron Beaubier Kalex 18.566
13 9 Spain Jorge Navarro Kalex 19.711
14 52 Spain Jeremy Alcoba Kalex 19.960
15 64 Netherlands Bo Bendsneyder Kalex 20.551
16 23 Germany Marcel Schrotter Kalex 23.047
17 42 Spain Marcos Ramirez MV Agusta 23.218
18 18 Spain Manuel Gonzalez Kalex 24.179
19 5 Italy Romano Fenati Boscoscuro B-21 25.133
20 19 Italy Lorenzo Dalla Porta Kalex 26.954
21 12 Czech Republic Filip Salač Kalex 27.678
22 2 Argentina Gabriel Rodrigo Kalex 29.548
23 84 Netherlands Zonta van den Goorbergh Kalex 31.773
24 61 Italy Alessandro Zaccone Kalex 32.436
25 28 Italy Niccolo Antonelli Kalex 33.974
  4 Sean Dylan Kalex  
  96 United Kingdom Jake Dixon Kalex  
  81 Keminth Kubo Kalex  
  24 Italy Simone Corsi MV Agusta  

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