30 points separate teammates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi in the MotoGP Championship, and as they battle in these last four races for the title, they now have to contend with Casey Stoner once again, who could take away precious points from the Fiat-Yamaha pair. While Stoner’s return to MotoGP, after a three race respite, has grabbed the media’s attention, the real race for the Championship rests squarely on one team’s shoulders.
It should surprise no one then that Fiat-Yamaha team has done another 1-2 finish in today’s qualifying at Estoril for the Portuguese GP. Taking the pole position was Jorge Lorenzo, who has to chip away at Rossi’s Championship points lead this weekend if he wants to stay in contention for the MotoGP crown. It will be hard work for Lorenzo though, following closely the Spaniard’s time is the trio of Rossi, Pedrosa, and Stoner.
Many had speculated about what form Stoner’s return to MotoGP would look like, with many believing Casey would be off the pace of the others. While even Stoner himself has hedged his bets, today’s qualifying shows the Australian still knows how to take the Ducati around the track. It would appear to be too presumptuous to write-off the former World Champion this weekend, and indeed in the next three races that conclude the 2009 season.
Results from Qualifying at the Portuguese GP at Estoril, Portugal:
|Pos||No.||Rider||Bike||Time||Diff||Diff. to Prev.|
|6||14||Randy DE PUNIET||HONDA||1’37.448||1.234||0.306|
|11||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||HONDA||1’37.822||1.608||0.009|