MotoGP: An Unfitting Goodbye to the Portuguese GP

05/06/2012 @ 4:18 pm, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

With fair weather conditions over Estoril, MotoGP dodged the rain bullet and had a dry race for Sunday’s Portuguese GP. Noting that the Ducati rain dance had failed, our attention shifted to the inter-Yamaha rivalry that is brewing between Ben Spies, Cal Crutchlow, and Andrea Dovizioso. With the American ailing in the factory Yamaha Racing team, both Crutchlow and Dovi are keen to take his spot for next season, as virtually all of the rider contracts are up this season. Cal has so far shined brighter than the Italian, starting today again on the front row.

With that battle set to go throughout the 2012 MotoGP Championship, more pressing issues included the absence of Colin Edwards, who broke his collarbone after getting struck by Randy de Puniet’s crashing Aprilia ART. Having won at every track except Estoril, the last bit of business for the Portuguese had to do with Casey Stoner, who was looking to complete his mantle of circuit wins with Estoril.

With MotoGP reducing its races on the Iberian Peninsula for the foreseeable future, this weekend marked the last time the premier class would race in Portugal. Click past the jump for race spoilers and results.

Heading into the first turn, it was Dani Pedrosa who lead teammate Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, Ben Spies, Cal Crutchlow, and Andrea Dovizioso. Having a bobble a few turns later, the Spaniard lost his position, watching both Stoner and Lorenzo get by him. Despite a mid-race push, Stoner maintained a comfortable lead over the two other riders, with there being no adjustment to the order from that point further.

Several cat naps later, the only real battle on the track was between the two Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders, though Crutchlow’s mistake in the endgame of the race saw the Brit run wide, and kiss goodbye to any chance of him putting pressure on Dovi to the line. Other points of interest included the embarrassment that rookie Stefan Bradl handed Ben Spies, as the rookie lead the factory Yamaha rider for the majority of the race. Meanwhile Valentino Rossi seemed satisfied with what would normally be a disappointing seventh place finish.

Perhaps the biggest parade-lap race we have seen this season, it is perhaps best that Estoril does not remain on the calendar. MotoGP action comes next from Le Mans, in two weeks’ time.

Race Results from the Portuguese GP at Estoril, Portugal:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike Time
1 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda
2 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +1.421
3 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +3.621
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +13.846
5 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +16.690
6 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda +21.884
7 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati +26.797
8 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +33.262
9 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda +35.867
10 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati +53.363
11 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati +1’02.630
12 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART +1’20.736
13 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART +1’23.483
14 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR +1’37.905
15 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda 1 Lap
Not Classified
Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 5 Laps
James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART 10 Laps
Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Avintia Blusens BQR 12 Laps
Mattia PASINI ITA Speed Master ART 17 Laps
Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens BQR 17 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

  • Tim

    why is, MotoGP reducing its races on the Iberian Peninsula for the foreseeable future

  • Jake

    Meanwhile, Moto2 and 3 races continue to provide the only real spectacle in MotoGP. Did you see that last lap in Moto2 between Marquez and Espargaro?

  • Tony

    If you were not interested in that race you should pick another sport. I have been watching GP’s for 25 years and it was a very interesting race.

    Watch NASCAR if you want contrived close racing. I’m fascinated by the best riders in the world on the best machinery going as fast as they can. If they don’t pass it can be still be tense and exciting!

    If the best rider isn’t your cup of tea and you wish he didn’t win and you might stop watching because you don’t like it, then again, pick another sport !!! I would watch the racing regardless of the personality of the winner.

    Is it motorcycle racing or The Bachelor?

  • Nick

    @ Tim…..

    They want to make way for more races in other parts of the world. There have been a lot of talks with south america and east asia for more races there. I personally would love if they just kept everything and added more races…but maybe im just being greedy….

  • Agreed about the quality of the Moto2 and Moto3 races this past weekend. Compared to the nail-biter finish of Moto2, the following MotoGP race was downright pedestrian. Marquez/Espargaro and Cortese/Viñalez were brilliant. Fenati in Jerez, too, just brought the house down with his 30+-second lead over anybody else on the track. Wow.

    I wouldn’t say that the MotoGP race was boring, though. I’m enjoying watching the CRT bikes. Also, Bradl is proving to be far better able to transition from Moto2 to the premier class than Elias did last season. Moreover, the struggle at Ducati to make their bike work is fascinating and sometimes frustrating to watch.

    I wouldn’t say that Estoril was to blame for any “parade lap” aspects to the premier-class race. With Moto2 and Moto3 offering such huge fireworks, the obvious problem is the disparity in hardware evidenced in MotoGP. That’s nothing really new to the class, mind you, and has a lot to do with how particular riders, e.g., Doohan and Vale, were able to dominate the class for years at a time.