With two victories from the opening two rounds of the season Nico Terol is in fearsome shape, and will be the man to beat at Estoril having already opened up a 19-point advantage at the top of the Championship. Aside from Terol’s blistering start to 2011, there have been impressive displays from the riders following, one being young German talent Jonas Folger. The Red Bull Ajo Motorsport man, who placed fifth in Qatar and second at Jerez (his second World Championship podium), will be confident of pushing for a similar result in Portugal, whilst his compatriot Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany) will also be eager to challenge for a first victory.
The wet race at Jerez saw six riders in the 125 class score their best ever GP result, and Frenchman Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) was amongst them. A first podium for Zarco has placed him as part of a closely grouped trio which includes Folger and Cortese. Meanwhile the confidence of young Brits Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) and Taylor Mackenzie (Phonica Racing), who both finished inside the top five, will be high, and the more experienced Spanish duo of Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) and Sergio Gadea (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team) will be pushing at the front.
Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) will be desperate to kickstart his campaign after finishing outside the top ten in the first two races, whilst Miguel Oliveira (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) will not only be riding in front of a home crowd but will also be determined to score a good result after crashing whilst running in third at Jerez. Mahindra Racing pair Marcel Schrötter and Danny Webb will also attempt to add to the first Championship points scored for the Indian manufacturer by the German rider, who placed 13th at Jerez.
Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) will be fit again after surgery on an injury to his right hand sustained in a crash during the Jerez race, whilst German rider Kevin Hanus (Team Hanusch) will again ride as a wildcard on a Honda.