Casey Stoner crowns fantastic Estoril weekend with win
Casey Stoner took his first premier class victory at the Estoril circuit today Ã¢â‚¬â€the only track on the MotoGP calendar at which he had failed to win in his career.
With this latest result, the Repsol rider moves into the lead of the overall standings and extends his run of consecutive podiums to just over an entire year. Teammate Dani Pedrosa claimed third and an historic 100th World Championship podium at this final Portuguese GP.
The MotoGP race began with a hectic first lap. Pedrosa and Stoner were first and second, respectively, at the end of the home straight. Stoner used the first corner to overtake his teammate around the outside and take the lead, whilst Pedrosa dropped down to third seconds later when he momentarily lost rear tyre grip. Jorge Lorenzo took advantage to move up a place, whilst Pedrosa was thankful for having avoided a crash.
Once these opening positions had been decided, the three leaders kept up the pace, lap after lap. Breaking away from the rest of the pack, Stoner, Lorenzo and Pedrosa extended their advantage and avoided any change in position, right up until the chequered flag was waved at the AutÃƒÂ³dromo de Estoril.
The Repsol Honda Team riders thus concluded an historic weekend in which Casey Stoner claimed his first triumph at the Portuguese track in MotoGP, whilst teammate Dani Pedrosa settled for third place and the honour of becoming the second youngest rider to reach 100 podiums Ã¢â‚¬â€after Valentino Rossi.
Casey Stoner – 1st – 45:37.513
“In the end it was another fantastic weekend for us. This morning we were more confident but also a little concerned because yesterday afternoon when we had a very similar setting to FP3 the bike was a little bit worse in the warm conditions. In warm up we didn’t have a big problem with chatter but then for the race, under the warmer conditions, we struggled a lot more. This was very difficult to ride with, in the first part of the race I was confident and attacking the track but I closed the front twice due to the chatter. From this point I backed of a little, tried to stay smooth and just wanted to stay in front of Jorge and Dani, but Jorge was coming strong. I had to try and keep my pace and not make too many mistakes, I was changing the mapping to try and reduce the chatter problem. Towards the end of the race I began to understand how to ride around it, this made things smoother and I found some more pace and was able to bring it home for a great race winÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Source: Repsol Media