WATCH fiery 12-bike Moto2 pile-up in Portimao as sudden downpour wreaks havoc

WATCH as a sudden downpour triggers chaos during the Moto2 race in Portimao by catching out 12 riders at the same corner in trecherous conditions

Moto2 pile-up Portimao

If ever a demonstration was needed to show the instant impact a sudden downpour can inflict on a field of slick-shod, high performance motorbikes, then the Moto2 race at Portimao certainly earned its place in infamy on Sunday following a chaotic 12-bike pile-up.

Taking place after the MotoGP centrepiece - won by Fabio Quartararo - Moto2’s later scheduling pitched the race into stormier weather, with the looming dark clouds opening on lap nine as the field entered Turns 1 and 2.

At this stage, the race was being controlled by a breakaway trio up front headed up by Aron Canet, Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) and Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia). 

However, all three paid the price for running first on the road, the trio striking the slick surface and being flicked into high-sides before barrelling through the gravel trap, with Canet particularly lucky not to get caught up with his Pons bike as it speared into the barriers.

Carnage promptly ensued behind them moments later as other riders followed suit, including Somkiat Chantra (Honda Team Asia)  and Tony Arbolino (Marc VDS) - respective winners in Indonesia and the USA - plus Sam Lowes (Marc VDS), Albert Arenas (GASGAS Aspar), followed promptly by both Red Bull KTM bikes of Augusto Fernandez and Pedro Acosta.

Zonta van den Goorbergh (RW Racing) and Simone Corsi (MV Agusta) joined the melee, the latter’s bike spinning into Arbolino’s stricken machine to ignite a burst of flames that sent the Spaniard leaping clear in avoidance.

With the race stopped and a large clean-up operation underway, remarkably all 12 riders escaped physical harm, though some teams counted a sizeable damage cost, not least Honda Team Asia, KTM Ajo and Marc VDS, which each lost both bikes in the incident.

With a depleted 17-rider grid making the restart, Jake Dixon inherited pole position but scuppered his hopes of a maiden Moto2 win by tumbling on the opening lap, his misfortune instead paving the way for Joe Roberts to secure a long awaited first victory on the Italtrans bike.

Coming in his 77th Moto2 start, his victory marks the first intermediate class success for an American rider since John Kocinski in 1990. 

In the overall standings, Celestino Vietti rebuilt his championship advantage with a run to second position, the Italian now 34 points clear of Ogura in the overall standings.