FIAT Yamaha‘s newly crowned world champion Jorge Lorenzo claimed his third consecutive victory at Estoril, and his 8th of this season, after a commanding display over team mate Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda‘s Andrea Dovizioso. It was Rossi who initially had the upper hand though, after getting ahead of the speedy Spaniard but Lorenzo fought back, and with 11 laps to go, managed to pass the old master.
Such was Lorenzo’s dominance this weekend that he managed to edge out a gap of almost nine seconds before the flag dropped. Rossi on the other hand must have been left with a feeling of what might have been after shooting ahead of Dovizioso by 18s at the end of the race for another FIAT Yamaha 1-2.
Dovizioso managed to break the heart of San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli by denying him of his first ever top class podium by only 0.059s, but can take heart in a seasons best 4th place finish. Nicky Hayden crossed the line in 5th, in a wave of disappointment after coming 0.620s away from a podium finish.
Randy De Puniet grabbed 6th in his penultimate race for LCR Honda, after it was announced that he will be replaced by Moto2 champion Tony Elias. Colin Edwards came home in 7th, after battling with De Puniet, 3s behind Hayden.
After missing the past 3 races, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa returned to cross the line in 8th, despite not being 100% fit and after starting the race in 12th. The second San Carlo Gresini machine, piloted by Marco Melandri came home in 9th, another strong performance for the team who are looking good for a strong finish to the season, with Hector Barbera completing the top 10 on the PÃ¡ginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati with an unusually high placed finish.
Hiroshi Aoyama came home in a Rizla Suzuki sandwich in the penultimate race for the Interwetten Honda MotoGP team, as they will be concentrating on a Moto2 project for next year, in 12th, with Ãlvaro Bautista in 11th and an wounded Loris Capirossi the final finisher in 13th.
Ben Spies failed to make the start after crashing his Monster Yamaha Tech3 machine on his way to the grid and in the process managed to dislocate his ankle. He will be hoping to be back for the final race at Valencia. Another high profile faller was Casey Stoner. He binned his Ducati on lap five whilst pushing hard for third, and probably cannot wait to get his hands on the Repsol Honda next year, as he has been in the gravel more than he has crossed the line.
Carlos Checa had a disapointing return to the top class, as his Pramac Ducati developed a mechanical fault 15 laps in, whilst teammate Aleix Espargaro crashed out on Lap 1.
The final race of the season will see the fight for 2nd place in the championship wrapped up, with Dani Pedrosa sat on 236 points and Rossi the only other rider who can steal it sat on 217.