Lorenzo Dominates & Repeats In Portugal
After dominating the practice rounds and qualifying time with the pole position, Lorenzo did not hold back on race day in Estoril, Portugal. Although Dani Pedrosa took the initial holeshot, Jorge passed him around turn three and never relinquished his lead for all 28 laps. And once he made his celebratory lap, he jumped off his bike to claim the track with the Lorenzo Flag as he did last year.
“I didn’t expect to win with such a gap,” said Jorge Lorenzo. “It was a perfect weekend as we dominated in practice, feeling great on the bike and also in the race I think it was one of the best performances in my life. At the beginning it was a little bit difficult to open a big gap because I could only do it one tenth of a second at a time, but then Casey’s rhythm dropped and I was able to maintain my pace.”
The course is very difficult for many to race on with the some turns requiring 60 kmh speeds, not your typical track speeds for MotoGP. Some would say this would be an even more difficult track for a Ducati rider, but Casey Stoner made his return to the track a chance to show he has not lost a beat. Although admittedly still not in top shape and tired from not racing, Stoner ran away with the runner up position in front of Pedrosa and Rossi.
“There was a lot of criticism of my decision to stop,” said Casey Stoner. “But people need to understand that if you are not competitive and you are getting worse every race there is no sense to just keep going. You have to stop, find the problem and fix it. So to come back like this and be more competitive than I have been in a long, long time it was a really good feeling. In the last five races I rode I was putting in so much effort and still slowing down at the end of the races, so today it was nice to be able to relax towards the end and still do a good lap time. I was nervous again today and I haven’t been nervous for a long time, so it is nice to be here again on the podium.”
Other Oakley riders placing in the top ten were Toni Elias in 6th, Andrea Dovizioso in 7th, Nicky Hayden in 8th, and Chris Vermeulen in 10th.
Next up on the circuit is Phillip Island, Australia for the third to last stop of the year.