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Thailand’s first win in motorcycle racing world championship

Somkiat Chantra made history for Thailand on Sunday when he became the first Thai rider to win a world championship race at the Moto2 Indonesian Grand Prix.

The Idemitsu Honda Team Asia rider had never finished higher than fifth before at the world level, but showed nerves of steel to dominate his rivals in tricky conditions at the Indonesian circuit.

With rain dampening the track, the race was reduced to 16 laps to prevent accidents.

Starting fourth on the grid, Somkiat shrugged off the treacherous conditions and catapulted into an early lead.

The fearless Thai then began putting distance between himself and his rivals, gradually opening a gap to the rest of the field.

Thai motorcycle racing fans’ hearts were in their mouths when their hero suffered a late wobble, but Somkiat shrugged it off to cross the line first and rewrite the history books.

The rider from Thailand beat World Championship leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) of Italy by 3.2 seconds.

Somkiart led from the first corner to the chequered flag in what was described as an “absolutely fantastic performance” by MotoGP.com.

Third place went to Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40).

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