Repsol Honda‘s Dani Pedrosa was the shock winner of the Portugese MotoGP. The Spaniard won the third race of the season ahead of Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and Honda team-mate Casey Stoner. After a pretty uneventful race for the leaders, it looked as though Pedrosa was simply matching leader from pole, Lorenzo, pace for pace.
But with only 3 laps to go, Pedrosa stormed past his fellow countryman on the start finish line to take the lead, and then set about setting 3 consecutive fastest laps, a surprise because of his recent shoulder surgery. “I am very happy for the win, especially as I didn't think I could win at the beginning.” said Dani.
“Jorge here is always riding very smooth and very fast, but my bike was working great and with five laps to go I saw I was still there so I tried to make my move. It is amazing to win here, my first victory at this track. I am very happy for my condition too as it looks like surgery was successful finally. I was trying to raise the arm because it was cramping and I was waiting for the numbness but it didn't come, so I am just so happy. It is a big relief.”
Stoner ran a considerbly lonely race in 3rd, with team-mate Andrea Dovizioso claiming a stunning fourth place ahead of Ducati’s Valentino Rossi in fifth, with Dovizioso starting a drag race to the line on the last lap, eventually beating Rossi by just 0.025s.
Colin Edwards scored another impressive result on his Monster Yamaha Tech3 ride in 6th, ahead of a battle between his team mate Cal Crutchlow and the lone San Carlo Honda Gresini finisher, Hiroshi Aoyama. Eventually Aoyama came out on top and finished in 7th with Crutchlow in another impressive points finish in 8th, another rider still recovering from surgery.
Nicky Hayden claimed 9th on the second Ducati after initially fighting with Yamaha’s Ben Spies before Texan began to struggle around on only his second visit to the circuit. After several off track excursions, Spies eventually ended up in the gravel and could not get his machine restarted. Randy De Puniet scored an impressive 10th place on the lead Pramac Ducati.
Toni Elias finally showed he is making progress on the LCR Honda after a battle with Loris Capirossi on the Pramac. Elias, in his third race back in MotoGP eventually edged out the most experienced rider on the grid for 11th, with Capirossi hanging on for 12th. Ãlvaro Bautista fought through the pain barrier to claim the final finishing spot in 13th.
Marco Simoncelli was the biggest non finish suprise, after dropping his San Carlo Honda Gresini machine on the first lap whilst in 3rd place. Hector Barbera, who has had a great start to the season, also dropped his Mapfre Aspar Ducati on the first lap. Karel Abraham also failed to finish after an impressive qualifying session, suffering an excursion into the gravel in the opening laps.
Coming away from Estoril, Pedrosa has now closed the gap at the top of the table to just 4 points away from Lorenzo, with Stoner still in 3rd. Simoncelli and Spies are sill languishing near the bottom of the table.
|Dani Pedrosa||Repsol Honda||61|
|Casey Stoner||Repsol Honda||41|
|Andrea Dovizioso||Repsol Honda||30|
|Hiroshi Aoyama||San Carlo Honda Gresini||28|
|Cal Crutchlow||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||21|
|Colin Edwards||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||18|
|Hector Barbera||Mapfre Aspar Ducati||14|
|Karel Abraham||Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati||12|
|Toni Elias||LCR Honda||12|
|Marco Simoncelli||San Carlo Honda Gresini||11|
|Loris Capirossi||Pramac Ducati||9|
|Randy De Puniet||Pramac Ducati||6|
|John Hopkins||Rizla Suzuki||6|
|Alvaro Bautista||Rizla Suzuki||3|