Tony Arbolino was declared the winner of the Moto2 Thailand Grand Prix as torrential rain poured down in Buriram ending the racing action early.

The Elf Marc VDS rider had only just taken over from Filip Salac but as the rain reduced visibility to almost zero the red flag came out and the rain did not abate for long enough to get the original plan of a five lap sprint under way as the weather worsened during the sighting lap bringing out the red flag once again.

As he pulled back into the pits the Italian was handed his second win.

Filip Salac was awarded his first ever podium finish, but had only just been overtaken as they slid and raised hands out front. The Gresini rider came incredibly close to a first win, just a corner out.

Third went to early leader Aron Canet, a huge turn around in the tricky conditions from 18th on the grid after a trying weekend for the Flexbox HP40.

The trio were driven by golf buggy to the podium, which crashed into the outside of the track on the way to the podium. Arbolino then slipped himself on the way to wait at the rostrum for the trophy presentation, Salac joined in with his own comic roll through the muddy ground.

Jake Dixon had been at the front on the early laps but while concentrating on staying upright the Inde GasGas Aspar rider just missed out on a podium finish in fourth, three seconds behind Arbolino at the red flag.

Lopez lead Dixon after Chantra’s early exit but he faded as he struggled for grip in the wet, bringing the Beta Tools Speed Up home in fifth, breaking up the Kalex domination on the Boscoscuro.

Ai Ogura was sixth after the eight completed laps for Idemitsu Honda team Asia, well ahead on track of title leader Augusto Fernandez who was one place behind for Red Bull KTM Ajo.

Joe Roberts was eighth for Italtrans, Ahead of Keminth Kubo, who brought some home success for the crowd in ninth for the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team.

Celestino Vietti(Mooney VR46 Racing team) had just overtaken Sean Dylan Kelly for tenth. The finish is still the American Racing riders best result in his rookie year.

Twelfht went to Barry Baltus for RW Racing GP. The remaining points were awarded to Taiga Hada (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) in 13th Albert Arenas (Inde GasGas Aspar) in 14th and Marcel Schrotter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) in 15th.

The second Elf Marc VDS bike with Sam Lowes on board was 19th.

 

Before the red flag

 

There was drama before a wheel was turned with a wet procedure started on the grid and a shorter 16 lap distance announced. After the rain dried up and returned with a vengeance there were many tyre and helmet changes. Albert Arenas, Manuel Gonzalez and Lorenzo Dalla Porta all elected to go back in the pits for further changes and join the back of the grid.

Cameron Beaubier was immediately fast but soon paid the price as he pushed too hard too soon. He was swiftly followed off by Fermin Aldeguer and Jeremy Alcoba, while Dalla Porta regretted his choices and peeled back into the pits.

 

Heartbreak for Chantra

 

Out front Somkiat Chantra, who had made history as the first Thai rider to take pole, all the more special as he achieved it on home soil, was giving those home fans a reason to withstand their soaking.

The Honda Team Asia ride hit what was more like a rive than a puddle, with little warning as he was leading the way, and his rear tyre went with the flow, aquaplaning away from him and throwing Chantra from his bike.

Aron Canet, who was 18th on the grid was the first to look to have the best of the conditions, before Filip Salac and Tony Abolino, who had just taken over out front confidently powered in front.

The weather soon became too much for the brave duo, hands going up as the rain became torrential and hands going up as the drops teemed down. Eventually this would be where the race was declared.

 

Where does that leave the championship?

 

Augusto Fernandez finished one place behind Chantra in the race (6th and 7th ) and half oints were awaded due to only eight laps being completed.

That saw him pick up four and a half points and Ogura awarded five. His total now sits at 238.5, down to a 1.5 pont gap to the Japanese rider. The duo can never now be level on points due to the half picked up. Aron Canet is still third overall, now on a total of 193.