Casey Stoner - Photo Credit:

Casey Stoner - Photo Credit:


Casey Stoner has now won a MotoGP race at every single circuit on the current calendar after he saw off the challenge of Jorge Lorenzo at Estoril. The Australian led throughout to claim his first premier class win at the Portuguese circuit, taking the championship lead in the process.

To say he led from start to finish wouldn't be totally accurate as Dani Pedrosa kept up his 100% record of leading through turn one, barging his teammate out of the way. The Spaniard wouldn't lead any further though as his Honda RC213V threatened to throw him to the floor on the exit. Dani hung on, but Stoner and Lorenzo had already demoted him to third by the time they reached turn three. Ben Spies moved up to fourth but was quickly overhauled by the Tech 3 Yamahas of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso.

Stoner stormed into a one second lead on the opening lap and that proved the foundation for his victory. Lorenzo managed to peg him back before closing in in the second half of the race but try as he might, the Yamaha rider couldn't force an opening. Jorge finished 1.421s shy of Stoner while Pedrosa finished third for the second weekend running after falling back in the final few laps.

The two satellite Yamaha riders were involved in a repeat of their Qatar duel which went right down to the wire. Crutchlow lost fourth to Dovizioso on lap five when the Italian slipstreamed past on the run into turn one. The Briton wouldn't allow Dovizioso to escape but a mistake at turn six on lap 24 gave him breathing space with Crutchlow running wide at the end of the back straight.

'Dovi' took full advantage to beat Crutchlow for the first time since joining Tech 3 while Alvaro Bautista claimed sixth after a solid race on the Gresini Honda. The race also saw some light at the end of the tunnel for Valentino Rossi who took seventh, his best result of the season so far, and ahead of Ben Spies' factory Yamaha after another race which saw the American fall backwards.

Stefan Bradl and Hector Barbera completed the top ten with Nicky Hayden consigned to eleventh after an electrical problem on his Ducati.  Aleix Espargaro beat Aspar colleague Randy de Puniet to finish as top CRT runner while Michele Pirro and Danilo Petrucci filled the final points positions.