Estoril, Portugal

2012 Estoril Moto3 FP1 Result: Vinales Leads Oliveira On A Damp Track

Action is underway at the last MotoGP round to be run in Portugal for a while. The first session of free practice for the Moto3 class took place under sunny skies but on a track that was still soaked from the overnight rain. At the end of FP1, it was Maverick Vinales who set the fastest time, leading ahead of local hero Miguel Oliveira. Oliveira was the only rider to finish within a second of Vinales, 3rd fastest man Alberto Moncayo ending the session 1.091 behind Vinales.

Results:

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2012 Estoril MotoGP Thursday Round Up - On Stoner's Non-Retirement, Rossi's Chances at Yamaha and Riding New Bikes

For most of the groups inside the MotoGP paddock, this final visit to Estoril for the Portuguese Grand Prix is tinged with sadness. Everyone loves this place, except for arguably the most important group of individuals present: the riders. The track is too tight for a MotoGP bike, especially the tight uphill chicane that follows a couple of corners after the back straight, and the many surfaces of Estoril make it very difficult to cope with. But for anyone who doesn't actually have to ride the track, Estoril is wonderful. Teams and journalists either stay in the beautiful seaside resort of Cascais, or else in the magical town of Sintra, up the mountain overlooking the Portuguese circuit. As far as ambiance is concerned, the Portuguese round of MotoGP is very hard to beat.

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Casey Stoner Denies Retirement Rumors: "Don't Believe What You Read In The Press"

Casey Stoner has moved to quash rumors of his retirement which appeared in the Spanish press after Jerez. He would continue competing in MotoGP for as long as he still enjoyed the racing, and right now, he was still having fun, he said after the pre-event press conference for the Estoril MotoGP round. When he stopped having fun, he would retire, but that moment had not yet been reached, he said.

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The First Improbable Rumors of the 2013 Silly Season: Rossi To Yamaha, Stoner To Retire?

Two traditions surround MotoGP's Silly Season: the first is that it kicks off earlier each year; and the second is that it kicks off with the wilder and more improbable rumors, before settling down and becoming a fraction realistic until the contracts finally start to get signed. The problem with the improbable rumors is that occasionally, one of the truly barking ones turns out to be true.

The rider merry-go-round for 2013 is no exception. With all of the MotoGP riders out of contract at the end of 2012, the permutations of riders and bikes are almost endless. The rumors began at the very first race, with wildly speculative reports from Italy that Valentino Rossi had a satellite Yamaha backed by Coca Cola lined up for 2013. What most damaged the credibility of such reports was the assertion that Rossi was ready to quit before the end of the season, something which the contracts drawn up by sponsor Phillip Morris' lawyers would make excruciatingly expensive.

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Jerez To Stay On Calendar For 2013, Valencia, Estoril Candidates To Be Dropped

Jerez is to remain on the MotoGP calendar for at least one more year. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta announced the extension during the official presentation in Madrid of this year's Spanish GP at the iconic Jerez circuit, stating that Jerez will stay on the calendar for 2013. He also confirmed that from next year, there will be just 3 races on the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal), with Jerez and Aragon certain to stay, while Barcelona and Valencia could alternate, as is currently being proposed for Formula 1. The Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril appears destined to disappear from the calendar.

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Estoril Confirmed On 2012 MotoGP Schedule - 18 Race Season To Go Ahead As Planned

The Portuguese MotoGP Grand Prix is to go ahead on May 6th as scheduled. After a long delay, the FIM today confirmed that the Estoril round of MotoGP is to go ahead, and the 2012 calendar will remain the full 18 races.

There had been intense speculation that the Portuguese race would be dropped from the MotoGP calendar. The round had struggled with finances, being usually surprisingly poorly attended, given the outstanding location of the track close to major tourist attractions such as the city of Lisbon, the coastal resorts of Cascais and Estoril and the UNESCO World Heritage site at Sintra, overlooking the Estoril circuit. Where normally the Portuguese government would step in to support the race, the Euro crisis and the Portugal's debt problems have forced the state to make massive spending cuts, and for a long time, it looked like the MotoGP race would fall victim to cuts.

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2012 MotoGP Calendar Changes: Qatar A Week Earlier, Jerez Confirmed, Calendar Still Provisional

The MotoGP schedule for the 2012 season has been tweaked a little, and there is some good news for fans: the season starts seven days earlier, with the Qatar MotoGP round having been moved up a week to April 8th. The move is in response to the Formula One calendar, which sees the Chinese Grand Prix scheduled for April 15th, the date originally planned for Qatar, and so the decision was taken to start the MotoGP season a week earlier.

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