MotoGP: Portuguese GP, Oh What a Difference a Day Makes in Estoril

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MotoGP racing hit Estoril Portugal this weekend, and all eyes were on Casey Stoner as he took to motorcycle racing for the first time since taking three races off to help sort out his medical condition. Stoner’s return provided a quick reprieve to the Fiat-Yamaha camp, where riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo continue to battle for precious Championship points. With a 1-2 qualifying, Sunday’s race easily telegraphed itself to be a good one, and it didn’t disappoint. Spoilers and race results after the jump.

With his patent-pending rocket starts, Dani Pedrosa was the first man around Turn 1 of the Portuguese track. While things started well for Pedrosa, by the end of the first lap he would see Jorge Lorenzo rocket by him and take the lead. That would be the last anyone would see of the Spainiard, as Lorenzo dominated the field, pulling away easily.

Lorenzo’s lap times could only be matched by one man, Casey Stoner. Stoner would finish second for the day, but was still gapped by Lorenzo by over 6 seconds. The Australian’s pace was at times as strong as Lorenzo’s but with a sizable distance between the two riders, Stoner had to settle for second place.

Coming in third was the rocketman Dani Pedrosa, who was also trounced with a nearly 10 second gap by Lorenzo. Perhaps the biggeet shock of the race was the performance from Valentino Rossi, who finished 4th and over 23 seconds behind his teammate. Rossi at times, was lapping at Estoril a full two seconds slower than Lorenzo, making this maybe his most disappointing finish of the season. This finish for Rossi hands Lorenzo valuable points in the MotoGP Championship, and now makes a Lorenzo comeback a possibility. Rossi leads Lorenzo now by only 18 point, with 3 races in the season remaining.

Race Results from MotoGP at the Portuguese GP at Estoril, Portugal

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 45’35.522
2 27 Casey STONER DUCATI 45’41.816 6.294
3 3 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 45’45.411 9.889
4 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 45’58.950 23.428
5 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 46’08.174 32.652
6 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 46’11.231 35.709
7 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 46’11.245 35.723
8 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 46’14.352 38.830
9 52 James TOSELAND YAMAHA 46’19.615 44.093
10 7 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 46’28.385 52.863
11 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 46’31.220 55.698
12 33 Marco MELANDRI KAWASAKI 46’40.037 1’04.515
13 88 Niccolo CANEPA DUCATI 46’40.060 1’04.538
14 41 Gabor TALMACSI HONDA 47’02.821 1’27.299
Not Classified
65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 33’23.887 8 laps
15 Alex DE ANGELIS HONDA 13’44.836 20 laps
36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 8’18.517 23 laps