MotoGP’s Thai Grand Prix at Buriram was delayed by around an hour due to torrential rain that limited the Moto2 support race to half-distance and half-points.
Rain was anticipated to play a big part in the proceedings this weekend, yet track action on both Friday and Saturday was predominantly held in the dry.
Yet rain arrived shortly before the start of the Moto2 race and intensified as things got under way, eventually forcing a red flag stoppage.
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) October 2, 2022
Rain looked to have eased off in the spell afterwards to allow race control to move towards a restart – but as riders then headed out on their sighting laps, the skies opened up once more, and very severely at that, prompting another stoppage.
And around another 20 minutes later the result was declared, with riders assessed half-points – the first time this has happened in the grand prix class since the four-lap 125cc race in Qatar in 2009 won by eventual MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone.
Rain is now the heaviest that it’s been since Wednesday. Full on downpour. (Golf cart is Moto2 riders en route to podium!) pic.twitter.com/MQzDjwvRLG
— Simon Patterson (@denkmit) October 2, 2022
Marc VDS’s Tony Arbolino was declared the winner today, having passed Filip Salac for the win mere moments before the initial red flag. The Gas Gas MotoGP-bound KTM rider Augusto Fernandez has retained the championship lead, by 1.5 points over Honda protege Ai Ogura.
“In the race I was a little bit further back, so all the laps I did – in the straight I couldn’t even go full throttle, and that’s with a Moto2,” 19th-place finisher Sam Lowes told MotoGP.com.
“I was spinning a lot, aquaplaning a lot – some corners were good, the grip was relatively okay, honestly, but the standing water was horrific, it was the worst I’ve ever ridden in. It was the right call to red-flag it.
“The grip’s real grippy, so that’s positive, the grip’s not bad, just the standing water’s obviously the issue.”
Nearly half an hour after the scheduled start time, with rain easing off and sunshine breaking through the clouds, MotoGP announced it would look to get the 25-lap race in starting at 3.55pm local time (8.55am GMT), following a 20-minute start procedure to get the riders acquainted with the wet surface.
But when the start time rolled around, with riders having completed sighting laps and many of them seemingly agitated about aquaplaning and visibility, the race was delayed once more.
This, however, was instead due to a reported ‘medical emergency’ on the grid, with the delay lasting mere moments before the race finally got underway.