Moto Media
James Stewart

Pedrosa's first victory of the season in Estoril

Copy and photos courtesy of MotoGP.

After a race long duel with fellow Spaniard, Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) raced to victory at the bwin Grande Prémio de Portugal and with it, claimed his first win at the Estoril circuit in any class. Third was Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda).

Pedrosa who only recently had surgery on his injured shoulder, had been seemingly pacing himself behind the leader, Lorenzo, until the final three laps, when the Repsol Honda rider, passed the Yamaha down the straight and then delivered a succession of fastest laps to pass the chequered flag first. Pedrosa finished just over three seconds ahead of the reigning MotoGP World Champion and closed the gap on Lorenzo’s lead in the standings to just four points. Pedrosa’s triumph also prevented the pole sitter clinching four successive victories at the Estoril circuit.

Stoner had a lonely race in third and was over seven seconds behind his team mate who won the race. The former MotoGP World Champion has never won at Estoril (one of only five circuits the Australian has failed to clinch victory at). The eyes were all on the battle behind the Australian between Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) and Andrea Dovizioso. The Repsol Honda rider stayed close to Rossi throughout the race and managed to snatch the fourth place on the very last lap as they crossed the start finish line, by a mere 0.025s. The nine time World Champion’ previous lowest result here in Estoril had been a fourth place from 11 starts, before the pass from his fellow compatriot over the line.

It was a good day for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team. Colin Edwards arrived home in sixth position, two ahead of Cal Crutchlow. The British rookie had been involved in a tussle with Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini), but the Japanese rider got the better of the former World Supersport champion. Crutchlow was one of many riders racing following an operation and has continued to pick up points in his first season in the premier class.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) was ninth, after racing with Ben Spies early on and the final place in the top ten went to Frenchman Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) who was recovering after an operation on his leg. Toni Elías (LCR Honda) who won here in 2006, was 11th after fighting with Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing) and edging out the most experienced rider in the field, come the end of the race.

In the first race of the season for Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), after missing the opening two rounds, the Spaniard battled through the pain barrier to record 13th place and claim three points, just six weeks after breaking his leg.

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) who started from the first row, which was only his second front row start in the premier class, suffered his second accident of the Portuguese weekend on the first lap. The Italian who c crashed whilst in contention for pole position during qualifying, came off at the beginning of the race whilst in third.

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) struggled on his second visit to Estoril after several excursions off the track and dropping down to tenth. The American then crashed and was unable to restart the bike.

Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar Team) had scored points in 19 of the past 20 races since he began his MotoGP career, but this race wasn’t to be for the Spaniard after crashing out on the opening lap with a nasty looking highside. Karel Abraham (Cardion ab Motoracing) who qualified ahead of the factory Ducati of Hayden in just his third GP start, had his first non-finish of his debut MotoGP campaign after an early off brought his race to a halt.

Moto 2:
  Bradl takes second win of the season after Iannone crashes with 3 laps to go.

After an exciting tussle in the last few laps Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) managed to hold off Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) to claim victory in the bwin Grande Prémio de Portugal. It was a poignant rostrum finish for Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) in third after the tragic death of his brother.

The German rider kept his cool during an eventful race at the front to take his third victory in the Moto2 class and the fifth of his career. The Kalex rider has increased his lead in the World Championship to 13 points over Andrea Iannone (Speed Master). The Italian rider looked potentially on course to triumph in Estoril after clawing his way through the field from starting from the middle of the fifth row, to be leading with only a few laps to go after passing Bradl. However the Suter rider crashed and eventually finished in 13th place, 42 seconds behind the winner. (he was pushing too hard to clear out from Bradl and Simon - Alan H.)

Bradl and Simón had a mouthwatering fight in the last few laps and it was Bradl who crossed the start finish line a mere 0.147s ahead of the Spaniard. The Mapfre Aspar rider was aiming to collect his maiden Moto2 victory in the class, but had to settle for second place and his 23rd career podium. Takahashi was an emotional third, a further six seconds behind the battle at the front.  

It was a positive weekend for Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP) after his highest grid position in Moto2 yesterday starting from fifth. Aegerter then also finished the race with his best result in the class with fourth place. Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) was in fifth, Pol Espargaró (HP Tuenti Speed Up) sixth and Randy Krummenacher (GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing) seventh.

Alex Baldolini (Forward Racing) who had his only ever podium in Grand Prix racing, here at the circuit in 2010, had his best result of the 2011 campaign in eighth place, ahead of Mike di Meglio (Tech 3) and Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX) in ninth and tenth.  

Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) had got the better of Bradl after a few laps in and had just set the fastest lap of the race whilst attempting to pull away at the front, when he lost the front end of his Suter and went down at turn 13. That was the end of the Swiss rider’s race and he had to return to the pits to retire.

Reigning 125cc World Champion Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) lost control of his bike whilst dicing with Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) and clattered into the British rider forcing them both off into the gravel. With both riders failing to score so far in this year’s Moto2 campaign, they both managed to continue but finished down in 21st and 25th respectively, It was not a good day for the British riders in the intermediate class as Bradley Smith (Tech 3) was forced to pull into the pits with tyre issues with ten laps to go and was classified 29th.  

After challenging for a rostrum position, Kenan Sofuoglu suffered an accident which brought an early halt to his race whilst racing in fifth place for Technomag-CIP. Rookie Michele Pirro (Gresini Racing Moto2) had his first non finish in Moto2, crashing out of sixth place on lap one after achieving his best ever qualifying result in Grand Prix. Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing) was another rider not to reach the chequered flag after his fall mid way through the race.

Kev Coghlan (Team Aeroport de Castelló) did not start the race despite qualifying 37th. The Scotsman suffering from an injury in training, crashed again during the weekend and therefore did not take part in the Moto2 race today.

125: Terol coasts to back-to-back wins in Portugal

Bankia Aspar’s Nicolas Terol continued his perfect start to the 2011 season with his third successive win of the 125cc campaign at the bwin Grande Prémio de Portugal. The Spaniard dominated at the front in Estoril and led home Sandro Cortese (Intact-Racing Team Germany) and Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo).

Pole sitter Terol become the first rider to win the opening three 125cc GP races since Masao Azuma in 1999. The 22 year old extended his lead in the championship standings to 25 points after securing maximum points after three rounds and claimed his eighth career victory.

Cortese who qualified second, continued his run of grid positions in the top two for this year’s 125cc season and fought with the most experienced rider in the class Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) through the middle of the race. They led a gaggle of riders for an intense battle including Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing) and Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo). However, Faubel hit the tarmac after crashing with just a few laps remaining, when he was in line for the final spot on the rostrum.

The Frenchman who achieved his first podium in 125cc at the last round in Jerez, made it two in a row, after a photo-finish between him and rookie rider Viñales decided that the Ajo Motorsport beat him on the line. The difference between third and fourth was a marginal two thousandths of a second. Fourth place was the Spaniard’s best result of his debut campaign in 125cc, after narrowly missing the opportunity to stand on the rostrum.

Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) who is now joint third in the championship with Zarco, was fifth, ahead of Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo). Miguel Oliveira (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) who became the first Portuguese rider to start on the front row of a Grand Prix grid, finished in seventh in front of his local fans, in his third race of his rookie season.

Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) was eighth, one spot in front of the second Bankia Aspar bike of Adrián Martín. Tenth went to Simone Grotzkyj (Phonica Racing).

Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) who was penalised for a jump start, had a ride through penalty but came through to finish in 15th and clinch the last point on offer. Kent fought off competition from fellow compatriot, Danny Webb (Mahindra Racing) who had to settle for 16th. The third British rider Harry Stafford (Ongetta-Centro Seta) had a crash towards the latter stages of the race and had to return to the pits. Taylor Mackenzie (Phonica Racing) who qualified 26th after a crash, didn’t start the race due to injuries sustained in the accident.

Alberto Moncayo (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) after qualifying fifth, had bike problems which prevented him taking his place on the starting grid and the Spaniard failed to start the race.