KTM Factory Racing rider Miguel Oliveira yesterday held his nerve in rainy conditions to win the Thailand Grand Prix in Buriram, as Francesco Bagnaia made up significant ground on world championship leader Fabio Quartararo who finished 17th.
Oliveira crossed the line 0.730 seconds ahead of Ducati Team duo Jack Miller and Bagnaia at the Chang International Circuit, in a race delayed by almost an hour because of heavy rain, creating treacherous conditions.
“It was a long race, but I can’t complain. Every time we get a chance to race on the wet, I’m always super fast,” said Oliveira, who also showcased his wet-weather skills this season in his victory at the Indonesian Grand Prix.
“When it started raining, I had flashbacks of Indonesia, but I tried to keep my feet on the ground and not make mistakes. I’m happy with this end of season win,” he said.
Bagnaia was made to work for his third-placed finish by Prima Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco, but held on to reduce Frenchman Quartararo’s lead in the standings from 18 points to two.
“I’m very happy, it’s like a win for me,” Bagnaia said. “I want to thank Jack [Miller]. He gave me a motivational chat before the race, and we spoke a bit.”
For Miller it was a second podium finish in a row, after his victory last weekend in Japan. He is fifth in the championship standings.
“I was pushing hard there, I didn’t give up on victory,” Miller said. “It’s not an easy task in these conditions.”
Miller is due to get married next weekend, ahead of his home grand prix in Australia, and said he would have been in “trouble” if the race had been postponed.
Quartararo had a disastrous start to the race, dropping down from fourth on the grid to 17th place on the first lap before ending up outside the points.
Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro also regained ground in the overall standings as he reduced the gap between him and Quartararo to 20 points, despite finishing 11th after being given a long-lap penalty for a collision with Brad Binder.
Additional reporting by AFP
Germany forward Thomas Mueller on Thursday said that his country’s second successive first-round exit from the FIFA World Cup was an “absolute catastrophe,” which teammate Kai Havertz likened to “watching a horror movie.” Germany beat Costa Rica, but Spain’s defeat to Japan meant Germany finished third in Group E behind Spain, with the teams equal on four points and the positions decided only by goal difference. “It is unbelievably bitter for us because our result would have been enough,” Mueller said. “It’s a feeling of powerlessness.” Mueller was part of the 2014 World Cup-winning team and was also in the side who were
Taiwanese-American basketballer Jeremy Lin, who plays for a Chinese team, was fined 10,000 yuan (US$1,400) for “inappropriate remarks” on social media about quarantine facilities ahead of a game, the China Basketball Association said yesterday. Lin, who plays for the Loong Lions Basketball Club, made “inappropriate remarks about quarantine hotel-related facilities” where the team stayed on Wednesday ahead of a game, the association said. It said that “caused adverse effects on the league and the competition area.” The Chinese Communist Party is trying to crush criticism of the human cost and disruption of its “zero COVID-19” strategy, which has confined millions of people to
Normally, it would be horrible news to soccer fans anywhere that their team’s star player was injured. Yet even as they endured an anguished wait for a Neymar-less Brazil to score in their 1-0 win over Switzerland on Monday, some Brazilians found it hard to miss the injured superstar, who has promised to dedicate his first FIFA World Cup goal to far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Watching the match in a packed bar in central Rio de Janeiro, where fans decked out in yellow and green waited nervously for what turned out to be the lone goal — scored in the 83rd
‘ASIA CAN WIN’: Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu said their victories at the tournament so far against top sides show that Asian teams can win on the world stage Japan erupted in cheers and tears after the national team’s 2-1 win over Spain, with crowds in the early hours of yesterday in the nation packing public viewing areas shrieking with joy as they stunned another global soccer power at the FIFA World Cup. Japan, who had also shocked Germany in their opener in Qatar, finished top of Group E to reach the last 16, a stage where they have faltered three times before. They are to play 2018 runners-up Croatia for a place in the quarter-finals. “Doha Delights Again!” one newspaper headlined its online edition, evoking memories of what the media called