Thailand’s first Grand Prix winner – Somkiat Chantra
Somkiat Chantra has been elevated to the history books over the weekend, with the Idemitsu Honda Team Asia rider claiming his first Moto2 win to become Thailand’s first ever Grand Prix winner.
Chantra’s Road to MotoGP began in the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup and he became the first Champion from Thailand back in 2016. From there he moved into what is now JuniorGP, before his Grand Prix debut came as a Moto3 wildcard at his home event at Buriram in 2018. He took an impressive ninth place and put his first points on the board.
In 2019, Chantra’s first season as a full-time Grand Prix rider saw him move straight into the Moto2 World Championship with Idemitsu Honda Team Asia. He took two top tens in his rookie season, another in 2020 and then finished in the top five in 2021 for the first time, taking fifth in Austria.
2022 began on the back foot as Chantra missed the season opener in Qatar with a hand injury and was even unsure if he would be able to race in Indonesia.
However the Thai rider made the start and with it some history: taking an early lead, the number 35 then pulled a gap on the field and dominated all the way to the flag, becoming Thailand’s first ever Grand Prix winner and the first former ATC rider to win in the intermediate class.
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