Sudden Back Pains During Race Compromise 3rd Place Casey

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The Motorcycling World Championship lived today in the Portugal Grand Prix an exciting race in the premiere class, where Pedrosa, who had physical problems in the two previous races, was able to take his revenge with an important victory at the Portuguese track. After undergoing surgery and with doubts about how his arm would respond in an entire race, the Repsol rider showed that he is recovered and ready to fight for a Championship where he is now second, four points behind the leader.

At the start, Pedrosa overtook Marco Simoncelli and was soon at the wheel of Jorge Lorenzo, who had the pole position. Behind them, Casey Stoner nearly fell when the Italian lost control of his Honda and crashed in the first corners, losing some metres that eventually proved decisive. In fourth place was Valentino Rossi, with the third Repsol Honda of Andrea Dovizioso at his heels.

Pushing from the first moment, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo set one fastest lap after another in a dramatic race where the Yamaha rider tried everything to open a gap from Pedrosa without success. Very close, the Repsol rider was able to test the good form of his left arm and waited for a few laps to launch his final attack.

Five laps from the end of the race, Dani attacked and overtook Lorenzo at the end of the straight. A little change of pace was enough to get a margin of some tenths. Lap after lap, the Repsol Honda Team rider’s advantage increased up to 2 seconds. In the end, first victory of the season for Dani Pedrosa. A double victory, due to its importance both in the sporting and the personal fronts.

Behind the two riders fighting for victory, the Repsol rider Casey Stoner rode alone in third, after some problems with his back prevented him from being in full form to try and get closer to the leaders. Eventually, the Australian of the Repsol Honda Team gathered some precious points with a third position that allows him to improve in the overall classification after his retirement in Jerez.

The third rider of the Repsol Honda Team, Italy’s Andrea Dovizioso, also had an exciting duel, against his fellow countryman Valentino Rossi. They have both been in control during the entire race, until in the last lap Dovizioso overtook his rival and achieved a valuable fourth position.

After this race, the three Repsol Honda Team riders reinforce their positions on top of the overall classification. Dani Pedrosa is second, four pints behind the leader, Jorge Lorenzo; Casey Stoner is third, 24 points behind Lorenzo and 20 behind Pedrosa, while Andrea Dovizioso is sixth, tied with the fifth –Hayden- and 35 points behind Lorenzo.

Tomorrow, Monday, the three Repsol Honda Team riders will have a test session at the Estoril track after facing the French round of the Championship in two weeks’ time.

Casey’s View…

“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”.