The press releases from the MotoGP teams after today's Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril:
Bautista completes Portuguese Grand Prix to seal a remarkable comeback
Publish Date: Sunday, May 01, 2011
Álvaro Bautista gave another courageous performance on his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R at Estoril today to not only finish the Portuguese Grand Prix, but to also score points and show that he had come to race and not just finish the 28-laps.
Bautista got a great start from 15th on the grid and by the end of the first lap had moved into 12th place, but he was forced to take avoiding action on the second lap as another rider fell in front of him. Karel Abraham crashed his Ducati and although Bautista tried to take a different line to miss him, the Suzuki star was forced out wide and into the gravel. Bautista stayed on-board and re-joined the race, but had lost valuable time and was too far behind the pack to continue his assault. As the race wore on Bautista produced consistent laps that would have seen him compete in the top-10, but because of the earlier incident he was forced to ride a lonely race with only the clock to compete against and his determination to finish the race. He eventually crossed the line in 13th place and, although he was suffering from the injury he sustained at Qatar, he was very pleased to finish his first Grand Prix of 2011.
Overnight rain again made this morning's warm-up quite difficult, but fortunately the storm clouds stayed away from the race and conditions improved in time for the start. Today's event was watched by just over 40,000 people at trackside and they saw Spaniard Dani Pedrosa on a Honda take his first victory of the season, with current championship leader Jorge Lorenzo second.
Rizla Suzuki and Bautista will now stay at Estoril for a day of testing, where they will be joined by Factory test rider Nobuatsu Aoki. The team will next be in race action at the historical Le Mans circuit in France on Sunday 15th May, where Bautista will certainly be looking to improve on this weekend's performance as his healing process continues and his race fitness returns.
"I have some mixed emotions today. I am happy because I made the target of finishing the race, but after a decent start and getting in to a good position early on, I am really disappointed that I had to run off the track because Abraham crashed in front of me. I tried to take a different line, but I had to go into the gravel and I lost too much time from the main group. I did the rest of the race alone and ok, we finished, but I would have liked to have battled with other riders. I think it was possible to fight with Toni, Loris and Randy today - or maybe even better! The first target was to finish the race, so we have to be happy about that and now I have 14 days to improve the strength and power in my leg and go to Le Mans in a much better condition than I came here. My body and my mind are now more prepared for racing, so I am really looking forward to the next race.
"I want to say a big thank-you to all the team and to everyone that supported me during the last month. If I can make this effort to be here and finish this race, part of what I did was because all of them believed in me all the time. I also want to say a very Happy Mother's Day to all the Mums in Spain, especially my own!"
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
"Today is the same very positive story as the rest of the weekend. For Álvaro to complete race distance and at a far more competitive pace than we could have expected when we were in the hospital in Qatar six weeks ago, is just incredible! The race itself turned into a fitness test after he ran off the track because of Abraham's crash, but finally we also got a bit of luck as Álvaro was able to avoid all the carnage around him in the first lap as several other riders crashed.
"On behalf of the whole team, I'd like to thank everybody involved in Álvaro's recovery, both in Qatar and Spain. But the main plaudits have to go to Álvaro himself – his commitment to get back as quickly as he has done has been inspirational. Le Mans is the next step and when we arrive in Catalunya we will be pushing to the maximum again!"
Top six for Edwards, Crutchlow shines again in Estoril
Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow continued their excellent start to the 2011 MotoGP World Championship in today's Portuguese Grand Prix after the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo stormed to top eight finishes in Estoril.
Edwards claimed a season best sixth place finish after he'd produced a magnificent early challenge to fight with Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso as the Italian pair battled for fourth spot.
Taking advantage of the best weather conditions of the weekend that saw air temperatures hit 20 degrees, the experienced American looked poised to join the Rossi and Dovizioso battle on lap ten when he closed to within 1.5s of Dovizioso with a determined performance. But he almost immediately started to encounter a side grip issue and despite a rousing effort to remain in touch with Rossi and Dovizioso, he settled for a safe sixth position to finish leading non-factory rider once again. His top six position also moved him back into the top ten in the overall World Championship standings on 18-points after three rounds.
Crutchlow looked on course to secure his best MotoGP finish of a rookie season in which the British rider continues to show his incredible speed. The 2009 World Supersport champion was in outstanding form in the early stages to pull away from an exciting battle involving Hiroshi Aoyama, Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies.
Only Aoyama had the speed to match Crutchlow and the pair engaged in a captivating battle for seventh position. Aoyama took seventh on lap 20, but determined not to let the former 250cc World Champion streak away, Crutchlow retaliated on lap 25 with a cl inically executed overtake. Crutchlow kept the hard charging Japanese rider at bay until the start of the final lap, and despite a brilliant attempt to re-pass at the final chicane, Crutchlow was just unable to claim seventh.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team will now prepare for its all-important home race at the historic Le Mans circuit later this month, with Edwards and Crutchlow looking to cement the Team's position as the leading independent squad in the MotoGP World Championship.
Colin Edwards 6th – 18 points
"I don't know what happened at the start but there was stuff going on everywhere. I saw Casey have a big moment and then Simoncelli needed a parachute, so it was just survival for the first few corners and see what happened. I saw Valentino and Andrea right in front of me and I was ready to reel them in. I was getting closer but I was pushing so hard just to stay in touch I lost a bit of side grip in the middle of the race and the lap times dropped a bit. I couldn't have tried any harder to catch them and felt I had the pace in some areas, but when I opened the throttle the traction control would kick in because I was having quite a bit of wheelspin. But to be in the top six in this field is still a great achievement for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and me. I can't really ask for anything more because I know the package I'm on and I know how fast the factory bikes are and the guys sat on top of them. A top six to take into the next race in France gives us all a lot of confidence because that is a big race for Tech 3 and Monster and I'm already looking forwad to going there."
Cal Crutchlow 8th – 21 points
"I'm happy enough with that because before the start of the w eekend I'd have never thought it possible to finish in the top eight on a circuit I'd never even seen before. And considering I had problems with both my arms all weekend, it is a great feeling. My right arm, which I had the operation is fine, but my left arm is really sore because I've been compensating with it. But the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team have been awesome all weekend. They have experience of helping rookie riders and they are doing a great job for me. And they've adjusted the bike to help me feel more comfortable with the arm problems. It is a shame I couldn't quite beat Aoyama at the end. Earlier in the race I felt really comfortable and kept some really fast and experienced guys behind me. It was a really good battle with Aoyama and while I don't like to get beaten in a last lap fight, I gave him a good run for his money and it is great experience for me to be in a scrap like that. If I keep doing what I'm doing at the moment then there is no reason why on tracks that I know that I can't be even further up. I'm really looking forward to Le Mans now. It is a massive race for the Team being in France and also for Monster, so I'll be looking to get another top ten finish."
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
"That was a very good race. We were all a bit worried about the weather, even when we were on the grid, but it stayed dry and allowed Colin and Cal to finish comfortably inside the top eight. Colin had a brilliant start and he pushed really hard in the beginning and he managed to open a gap on the chasing pack to stay right behind Rossi and Dovizioso. He started to lose a bit of time but he could keep his position easily and sixth is a really good result, especially after the big disappointment of Spain when were so close to the podium. I am really pleased as Colin is doing an incredibly good job since the beginning of the season and he deserved to get in the top six. Cal was very strong all weekend again and he continues to amaze me. He was fighting really hard with Aoyama and he never gave up until the very last lap, even though he has less experience of MotoGP and much less experience of the Estoril track than Aoyama. I was a bit worried about his arm before the start of the race, but he showed that he is great in the fight and never gives up. The next race is our home Grand Prix and we are looking forward to a very good result as we know Yamaha is always very strong in Le Mans."
Pedrosa claims first win of season with faultless run in Portugal
Round 3: Portuguese GP – Race
Estoril Circuit, Sunday 1 May 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa took victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix today with a dominant performance that saw him take the lead on lap 25 and never look back. The Spaniard tailed fellow countryman Jorge Lorenzo for much of the race before making his move four laps from the end.
Teammate Casey Stoner finished third, also matching the pace of the lead duo for much of the race, whilst Andrea Dovizioso beat Valentino Rossi to fourth in a drag to the line, pipping Rossi by just 0.025seconds to make three Hondas in the top four.
The top eight riders all used the harder option front slick, with Nicky Hayden in ninth being the highest placed rider to opt for the softer front. Every rider used the softer rear asymmetric slick which proved very consistent over race distance despite a track temperature of 36 degrees Celsius. In particular, the Honda RC212V machines of the Repsol Honda Team all used their tyres very well today as Pedrosa was able to set the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap, and Dovizioso set his best time on the final lap as he dragged past Rossi.
The race also claimed some unfortunate casualties in the form of Marco Simoncelli and Hector Barbera both of whom crashed on the opening lap, Karel Abraham who fell on lap two and Ben Spies on lap 13.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"Jorge has a great record at Estoril and again rode very strongly today, but ultimately Dani just had a little bit more in the closing stages of the race as he found some more time to set two consecutive fastest race laps to seal his victory. I'd like to congratulate Dani for his first victory of 2011 and also the Repsol Honda Team for putting their three bikes in the top four here. We've now had three different winners from the first three races this season which is good for the sport and a good indication of how close the field is this season."
Tohru Ubukata – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"I am pleased that in the race we could see four riders using the softer option front tyre which means that clearly both compound choices were well suited to the conditions. I am also satisfied with the durability and consistency of the softer rear tyre that all riders used, even though the track temperature reached 36 degrees. The track conditions today were again not ideal which is why the laptimes were a little slower. More overnight rain meant that the track was dirty again this morning, and it has not had a proper chance to clean all weekend so was still a little greasy or ‘green'."
Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team – Race Winner
"I am very happy for the win, especially as I didn't think I could win at the beginning. 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."
Weather: Dry. Ambient 22°C; Track 36°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Dani Pedrosa wins GP of Portugal with Stoner 3rd and Dovizioso 4th
A great result for the Repsol Honda team that today saw its three riders placed in the first four positions of the Grand Prix of Portugal with Dani Pedrosa on the top step of the podium, Casey Stoner in 3rd and Andrea Dovizioso 4th.
Dani Pedrosa conquered his first win on this track, after having been glued to Jorge Lorenzo from the 1st to 24th laps, then with a perfect overtaking manoeuvre he took the lead of the race and ended with a three second advantage.
Casey Stoner suffered a difficult first few laps after experiencing a few issues with his tyres, losing contact with the leaders and settled back in third. He remained in this position from the first to the last lap, any hope to catch the front runners was lost around the mid-race point after he was struck with a serious pain in his back that prevented him pushing harder.
His team mate Andrea Dovizioso overtook Valentino Rossi on the finishing straight clinching 4th position by just 32 tenths of a second.
With todays' win and three podium finishes in as many races, Dani Pedrosa reduces the gap to Championship leader, Jorge Lorenzo to four points. The Spanish Repsol Honda rider celebrates today his 50th podium in the MotoGP class, all aboard a Honda machine.
Stoner is third in the Championship standings with 41 points and Dovizioso sixth with equal points to Hayden (fifth with 30 points).
DANI PEDROSA – 1st
"I'm very happy for today's win, but more than the win I'm happy for my condition and it seems that my surgery was finally successful. I was trying to rest my arm at times as it was cramping with 15 laps to go, I was riding behind Jorge and waiting for the numbness to come together with the loss of power, but it didn't come! I'm just so happy to see that the surgery has worked, it's been around six months with this and it's a big relief. For the race, I was riding at my best, Jorge is amazing here always riding so smooth and fast, I was trying to stay with him and in the end I felt comfortable and tried to make a move and I was successful. I'm very happy to win here, it's my first win in this track and thanks to all the doctors, my physio and trainer because it's been hard work and finally we got a win".
CASEY STONER – 3rd
"We had a pretty good start to the race but Dani moved across and I had to hit the brakes and back off so after that I was challenging Marco for 3rd position in the first turn and he cut me off which I'm not so happy about, then in turn 4 he crashed and I lost the tow to Dani and Jorge. I didn't really have a lot of confidence in the first laps with the rear tyre, it didn't seem to want to work so well especially on the left side, I nearly crashed a few times so I slowed down a little. Then during the race at some point, I felt my back completely lock up on me and I couldn't move for three or four corners, I was struggling to do anything and had no breath. I thought I had to go back to the garage, but thankfully within half a lap it eased up a little, got better and we managed to finish so I'm very happy to stay in 3rd place today".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 4th
"After a difficult weekend we had a good race with the best lap at the end and a good strategy to overtake Valentino. I was riding at the limit during the whole race and Valentino was stronger in 2-3 points so it was difficult to overtake him. I pushed hard to keep contact with him and at the very last lap I tried to overtake him at turn 10, even if I knew that it's a difficult corner to overtake. Then at the very last long corner I tried to overtake him inside, Vale closed the door so I tried to exit faster than him, I made it and I could overtake him in the straight with the draft. I'm happy of this result but we are still too far from the first rider. We need to be competitive from the first day if we want to fight with Dani, Casey and Lorenzo so it's good to have a test tomorrow where we can work on set up and electronic system".
ELIAS MANAGES TO FINISH 11th AT TRICKY ESTORIL CIRCUIT
Estoril, 1 May: the LCR Honda MotoGP rider Toni Elias got a positive 11th place in today's 28-lap Grand Prix of Portugal at Estoril race track despite some rear grip issues due to the mixed conditions of the Portuguese asphalt. The third round of the season got underway at 13:00 local time and was held in dry conditions although cloudy skies have welcomed the riders and Teams this morning.
After yesterday's issues which prevented Elias from taking a better spot on todays' grid, the Spaniard riding the RCV took a good start from the 17th position aiming to stay up in the pack but he struggled because the relatively low track temperatures prevented him from generating enough heat in the rear tyre. However Elias manages to finish 11th obtaining 5 points in the standing and will be back on track tomorrow for an additional day of testing.
Elias 11th : "Well... it has been a difficult and hard race for me. In the beginning I have struggled a lot because the bike was pushing a lot in the front in the braking points but then Capirossi and Randy have slowed down and I could catch them. I have beat Loris and could have passed Randy with 2 further laps as my pace was consistent. I am not satisfied about my position but I am pleased with my performance because I pushed hard till the end. In my opinion we have got a big potential and we took a step forward on Friday so in tomorrow's test we must develop the data we have gathered to improve the bike".
Karel Abraham crashed out of the race at Estoril
The Czech motorcycle rider Karel Abraham crashed out of the race and did not finish the Grand Prix of Portugal.
Riding on board his Ducati Desmosedici GP11, Karel Abraham made a good start and battled with four other riders for 12th place. However, on the second lap he made a small mistake and crashed.
"In the left-handed turn I made a mistake and started to brake a little later. Then I lost grip of the front tire and crashed," said disappointed Karel Abraham after his return to the garage of the Cardion AB Motoracing team.
Fortunately, medical examination showed only bruised hand and damaged nerves in the fingers.
Karel Abraham and his team Cardion AB Motoracing now stays on track at Estoril circuit where the official MotoGP test will take place tomorrow.
Lorenzo Retains Championship Lead with Estoril Podium
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo extended his unbroken run of podium finishes today in Portugal for the third round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship. Having taken his fourth consecutive Estoril pole position start in yesterday's qualifying heat, the reigning World Champion retained the lead from the off. Lorenzo completed a perfect 25 lap run in the lead before relinquishing to Pedrosa just three laps from the end, crossing the line in second place to take valuable championship points.
Lorenzo's team mate Ben Spies was again denied the opportunity to complete the MotoGP race in Estoril. A tool used to temporarily block the fuel overflow pipe on grid was accidentally left in place for the race start, compromising the Texan's ability to ride competitively. The tool's location adjacent to the front brake lever made it impossible for him to brake effectively, ultimately affecting his concentration which resulted in a crash with fifteen laps remaining of the race.
The team will remain at Estoril tomorrow for an official MotoGP test session before heading to Le Mans in two weeks time for round four. Following today's race Lorenzo adds another 20 points to his championship tally, giving him a total of 65 at the top of the table. Spies remains on ten points and sits in 14th position.
Position : 2nd Time: +3.051
"I made a good start and I'm really happy for that then I pushed to my maximum to try to open the gap to Dani. Unfortunately today was not the day for that, he was too strong and consistent and at the end he was maybe fresher to push. Second is a good result, we have a lot of points from three races so I think we are in a good way to keep fighting for the championship. I want to thank my team who worked really hard this weekend to make sure we were as competitive as we could be."
Position : DNF Time:
"I am bitterly disappointed with today. After a lot of hard work by the crew this weekend we started the race with a very competitive set up and I was feeling good. When I noticed the tool hadn't been removed I tried to do it myself because it was right in there next to my brake lever. I managed to get it off but then this loose tube was flying around which was pretty scary. It really messed with my concentration as I was worried about taking out another rider in one of the corners and then I crashed. After the DNF at Jerez this was really frustrating as it was completely out of my control, nothing to it now but to move on and come back strong for Le Mans."
"A second place here at Estoril is very good, of course we would like to have won but it didn't happen. Jorge led for 25 laps but Dani held on and had a little bit extra in his pocket at the end. He looked very stable and clean when he passed so Jorge was smart to settle for second. We gained a bit in split one and lost a bit in split four from qualifying, you win some, you lose some. Second place is ok and we're still leading the championship. We're going for podiums and if we can win then we'll try, today we couldn't."
"Lorenzo took a lot of important points for the championship today. He led for most of the race riding impeccably. When he understood it was difficult to retain the lead he showed his maturity as a racer to secure second place. Ben has again been unlucky at Estoril. It is unfortunate that sometimes these human errors occur in racing at all levels. Fortunately he was uninjured and was able to avoid involving any other riders in the incident. Our focus is now on the test tomorrow and Le Mans in two weeks time."
LUCK NOT ON HÉCTOR BARBERÁ'S SIDE AT ESTORIL
Early crash rules MAPFRE Aspar rider out of the running in Portuguese GP
The 2011 MotoGP race in Portugal was expected to be a dominant race for Jorge Lorenzo, and it was the Spaniard who broke the peleton early on. Rival Dani Pedrosa was the only rider able to keep up with him, and gave spectators the action they craved with a late overtake for the win. Casey Stoner rode a solitary race for third place, whilst Valentino Rossi was passed on the line by Andrea Dovizioso to move things around in the top five. The moves on the final couple of laps were an exciting twist to what had been a mostly processional race in the premier class, which took place in dry conditions.
MotoGP returns on May 15th, with the French Grand Prix at Le Mans the fourth round on the 2011 calendar.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá's race lasted just four corners, and luck was not on the Spaniard's side at Estoril. After two days of positive practice sessions, the sophomore rider was looking forward to repeating the great result taken at the last round at Jerez. A combination of a cold tyre and the fast pace of the opening lap meant race over for Barberá, as the back end of his Ducati stepped out and threw him to the ground. After a visit to the Clinica Mobile, he received a diagnosis of a small crack on the right hand side of a lumbar vertebra. The injury is not serious for the moment, and should only require rest in order to heal.
Héctor Barberá (DNF): "It is a shame, because I think that we could have been in the top eight with the practice pace that we had. I wanted to continue my form from Jerez. It was my mistake, because I maybe overstretched myself. It was just that I had a group of riders in front of me and didn't want to lose them. I suppose I should have been a bit more reserved, because it was the first left hander and the tyre was perhaps a little cold. The crash was a strange one, because I didn't get any warning and suddenly I was on the ground. I rode almost the same line on the warm-up lap, and nothing happened then. I don't know what to think. It was an excess of confidence, because I had never had problems on that corner before the race. I wasn't even on the throttle when I took it. After I got changed I noticed that my back was aching, so I went to the clinica and got some scans done. It looks like I might have a small crack on the right hand side of a vertebra, but it is something that maybe won't trouble me tomorrow. The doctors have told me to rest up and come back tomorrow for another examination."
NICE RACE FOR ROSSI AND HAYDEN AT ESTORIL
The third round of the world championship, at the Estoril circuit, saw Valentino Rossi put in a nice race on a dry track, as there was no rain after this morning's wet warm-up. The Italian started well from the third row and made up more positions on the first lap, bringing him to fourth place. From there, he maintained a good rhythm for the entire race, holding off Andrea Dovizioso until the very end, when Dovizioso slipped by in the race to the line and finished in front by a hair—just twenty-five thousandths of a second.
Starting from the fifth row, Nicky Hayden also had a very strong launch, and the American was seventh after the first lap. A small shifting problem affected him a little, but it was mainly the contact with Spies that caused him to lose a gap to Aoyama and Crutchlow. He was ninth at the finish.
Tomorrow the Ducati Marlboro Team will stay for a post-race test with the other MotoGP teams, and naturally, good weather is hoped for so that the team can continue its development of the GP11.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Marlboro Team) 5th
"Apart from Dovizioso, today went well! I'm joking, but Andrea obviously rode a race that was strategically perfect. I think he played with me a little, knowing that on the straight, he could probably beat me to the line. He couldn't pass me because I was strong on the brakes, so he had me do all the work for 28 laps before making his attempt, and he got me by twenty-five thousandths. Apart from that, the team and I are very happy, because it was a nice race and this, for the time being, is the best we can do. I started well, I made up several positions, and then I was very consistent, with decent times. I practically did the same lap from qualifying for 28 laps, so it's a good result. My only disappointment is that fourth would have been my best finish with the Ducati. Anyway, another positive is that I'm physically well, as I'm missing just fifteen percent of my strength, but I think I'll be at 100 percent between Le Mans and Catalunya. As for the bike, there's certainly still work to do, but we're working together with the Ducati technicians. They're pleased with the data they have, and I'm seeing that what I get from the racing department works. It will take some time, but we're going forward. Tomorrow we'll have some new things to try, so let's hope that it's dry, and we'll see how it goes. We don't expect to solve everything in seven hours, just to continue down the path we've started on together."
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team) 9th
"Starting from thirteenth, it was always going to be difficult for us, but the bike was good off the line and I got a good start. I made some early mistakes, but I was also recovering a few positions. I got into seventh, but I was having difficulty back-shifting. Already on the sighting lap, I knew it was an issue. On the grid, we talked about getting on the other bike, but we decided together that it was better to stick with our bike and not start from pit road. It caused some difficulty, especially on corner entry, and some guys came past. Then Spies hit me pretty good and stood me up going into Turn 3, so I lost the bridge to Aoyama and Crutchlow. I'm really happy we have a test tomorrow. We've got some stuff to try, and hopefully we'll get some good weather, because we lost some dry time this weekend with the rain. The bike was great in the wet—third Friday and fourth this morning—but we need to make it better in the dry."
Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager)
"Valentino had a good start and a nice race: we were very consistent with the times, and the gap to the front was reduced, which indicates that the work we're doing on the GP11 is going in the right direction. Nicky also got away well when the lights went off and, despite a shifting issue, he stayed strong and finished in the top ten. Tomorrow will be a test day, and we'll try some updates to different areas of the bike, so we hope that the weather won't play any dirty tricks on us so that we can take advantage of all the track time."
DE PUNIET AND CAPIREX IN THE POINTS. THE FRANCHMAN TOMORROW WILL RETURN AT HOME FOR A CHECK-UP
In was back to the sunshine for the MotoGP series after two days of practice and qualifying in the rain and wind. There was good news for Pramac Racing Team, which for the first time this year had both of its riders—Randy de Puniet and Loris Capirossi—finish the race. The Frenchman, in particular, erased his disappointing results in practice and in qualifying by finishing the race in tenth place and—despite the sharp pain in his left knee, which recently underwent surgery—earning his first points of the season. Loris Capirossi, on the other hand, expected much more. Motivated by the continuing progress with his Ducati Desmosedici, the Italian had hoped to continue to keep pace in the early laps of the race. His twelfth place is worth 4 points. There's a test tomorrow at Estoril, but not for Randy: the rider will return at home for a check-up.
Marco Rigamonti - Track Engineer, Randy De Puniet
"We're surprised. Randy's race was affected by his knee pain, but we're satisfied overall. We were able to take some points home in the end. We'll try to solve the problems -which we didn't manage to do this weekend- with the bike before Le Mans, which we didn't manage to do this weekend. The bike seems to work well on some tracks, like Qatar and Estoril, whereas at others we can't get it like we want it."
Randy De Puniet - Pramac Racing Team - 10th in race - 16th in MotoGP standings
"I'm partly happy. Before the start of the race, if I knew I'd finish tenth, I'd have celebrated the result this weekend. But I don't know what happened with my knee. It hurts very badly in the race, and I didn't have enough strength in my legs. I had X-rays earlier this week, but I don't know how my ligaments are. I hope it's not anything serious, but tomorrow I will return at home for a check-up. As for the bike, we'll try to fix the problems with the front. I'm happy for the six points earned, but without the pain in my knee, my result would undoubtedly have been better. We must work to find the same feeling glimpsed at Losail and Jerez."
Loris Capirossi - Pramac Racing Team - 12th in race - 15th in MotoGP standings
"I expected a different outcome, certainly something better from this race. Whether the results obtained in these two days, both for started. I was just very aggressive, I spent a lot of motion. But the problems with the front slowed down my pace by a second per lap. It's unfortunate, because we had worked well. Now we'll focus on the test, where we'll try to make some progress. We must be positive and have a winning mentality. We're only at the third race."
BITTER DISAPPOINTMENT FOR SIMONCELLI, SOLID RESULT FOR AOYAMA
Marco Simoncelli's hopes of a top result went up in smoke today after just four laps of the Grand Prix of Portugal. 'Super Sic' made a mistake on the colder left-hand side of his tyre and was thrown into the gravel in the first real left-hand turn on the track. It was a shame for the weekend to end in this way for the young Italian, who had shown the potential to win the race during practice. However, a first prestigious result for the Team San Carlo Honda Gresini team this season is surely in the offing and the next opportunity comes in just two weeks time at Le Mans. Hiroshi Aoyama produced another solid ride to a valuable points finish, the Japanese rider taking seventh place to move up to seventh in the championship but just three points off fourth.
Hiroshi Aoyama (7th) "First of all I have to say thanks to the team because they have done a great job in changeable weather over the weekend here at Estoril. I tried to stay as focused as possible in the race, which wasn't easy at the start on cold tyres but after about five laps I started to get confident with them and the bike. At that point I was able to be more decisive and after a tough fight with Crutchlow all the way to the last lap I was able to secure seventh place. It is a positive result but we will try to do better still in the next race."
Marco Simoncelli (DNF) "I am really disappointed for myself and for the team. I had a warning from the rear tyre coming out of turn one. I also saw Pedrosa and Stoner have trouble so I tried to stay calm and decided to take turn three in a higher gear to keep the engine sweet. I did the same in the next corner to make sure it wasn't too aggressive but in the middle of the corner with the throttle closed I was thrown out of my seat and that was goodnight. I am really disappointed and I don't know what else to say. For sure it was my mistake and I have to be more careful next time. It's a shame because I was fast! We'll try not to make any stupid mistakes at Le Mans. "
Fausto Gresini "I am disappointed by Marco's crash because hopes were high for him today, we knew he could be racing at the front and fighting for the podium if not the win. Unfortunately with these tyres it is not easy because they take a little time to get up to temperature. Marco had a crash that obviously nobody wanted and it's a real shame because we know he has the potential to be a champion, so at the same time we have to look ahead to the next race. Hiroshi had a good race despite an uneasy start and showed once again that he is improving. He has brought home some good points in all three races so far and is only three points off third in the championship. His adaptation to MotoGP is progressing in the best way."