Result and summary of the MotoGP race at Estoril:
Casey Stoner has taken victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril, controlling the race from the front to win a comfortable victory, despite pressure from Jorge Lorenzo throughout the race. Stoner's win at Estoril is his second in a row, both of which came at circuits he has never won at before. With the victory, Stoner takes the lead in the championship by a single point from Jorge Lorenzo.
Stoner had the race under control almost from the first few corners. Dani Pedrosa got the holeshot, but a twitch on the exit of Turn 1 saw him lose two places, with Stoner taking over the lead, and Lorenzo slotting in behind him. The three immediately started to pull a gap, at first in the company of Ben Spies, but the Texan ran wide into Turn 6, losing two places, and more importantly, losing touch with the leaders.
From that point forward, a typical MotoGP unfolded. Three men, at the limit of their machines and their ability, lapped within a few hundredths of each other all race long. Stoner's lead at first looked safe, but as the race approached two-thirds distance, Lorenzo started closing up. But Lorenzo's efforts would be in vain: the Factory Yamaha man was stronger in the final section, but everything he gained in the last sector Stoner took back in the first half of the track. With a couple of laps to go, Stoner pushed hard to break the opposition, and Lorenzo was forced to let him go. Dani Pedrosa, who had followed the leading pair all race long, came home in 3rd.
Behind the leaders, the fight that will be one of the most fascinating this season opened another chapter at Estoril. Monster Tech 3 Yamaha teammates Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow fought over 4th place, with nothing to choose between them. Crutchlow led for the first few laps, but Dovizioso came past in the first corner on lap 5, and the Italian pushed to try to drop his teammate. Crutchlow was not inclined to go along with Dovizioso's plan, and hounded his teammate for most of the race. He got close enough to try to pass at one point, but ran wide at Turn 6 and lost touch. In the end, he could do nothing about Dovizioso, losing out to his Italian teammate for the first time this year.
Alvaro Bautista rode a lonely but strong race to come home in 6th, while behind him Valentino Rossi shook off early challenges by Stefan Bradl to come home in 7th on the factory Ducati. After his eventful early laps, Ben Spies made up ground to finish in 8th - better than Qatar and Jerez, but still nowhere near where he should be - passing Stefan Bradl late in the race and demoting the German to 9th. Hector Barbera rounded out the top 10, putting his Pramac Ducati ahead of the second Factory Ducati of Nicky Hayden, who finished 11th. Aleix Espargaro won the battle of the Aspars, holding off Randy de Puniet to be the first CRT bike.
Stoner's victory means that the Australian has now won at every track on the MotoGP calendar. The Repsol Honda man had just Jerez and Estoril missing from his list of wins at the start of the season, and now he has those to crossed off the list as well. Stoner now leads the championship by just 1 point, 66 points to Lorenzo's 65, and the title chase is turning into a two-horse race between the 2010 and 2011 World Champion.
|13||14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||47'00.996||1'23.483|
|15||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||IODA||46'01.358||1 lap|
|17||Karel ABRAHAM||DUCATI||39'52.674||5 laps|
|77||James ELLISON||ART||30'51.198||10 laps|
|68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||BQR||26'59.749||12 laps|
|54||Mattia PASINI||ART||18'33.107||17 laps|
|22||Ivan SILVA||BQR||19'10.392||17 laps|