Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner made it two wins in a row to take the lead in the MotoGP™ championship with victory at the Grande Prémio de Portugal Circuito Estoril.
Having led from the start, the reigning World Champion never gave up the lead, as he put in another dominant performance at the Portuguese circuit, ahead of championship rival, Factory Yamaha Team’s Jorge Lorenzo. Stoner’s win now means he has won at every track on the current MotoGP calendar in the premier class.
The Australian pulled out a gap early on, but Lorenzo and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa did not give up without the fight, as they slowly closed in on the leader throughout the race. It was however Stoner who put the hammer down in the final laps, to take victory and the championship lead.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso fought a race-long battle with teammate Cal Crutchlow, and came out on top for the first time this season finishing in fourth. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista put in another solid performance to take sixth place, finishing ahead of Ducati Team´s Valentino Rossi, who recorded his best finish of the season. Despite still not being near the front, Rossi has stated that he is starting to feel more comfortable on-board his Desmosedici.
After showing promising form all weekend, Yamaha’s Ben Spies had another disappointing race, finishing down in eighth after running wide early on in the race. He displaced LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl into ninth, ahead of Pramac Racing’s Héctor Barberá in tenth. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró took top CRT spot for a second race in succession.
Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham, Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini and Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernández all crashed out in the race, while Hernández’s teammate Iván Silva pulled into the pits early on after suffering pain from his earlier warm-up crash. Paul Bird Motorsport’s difficult start to the season continued, as Briton James Ellison retired with a mechanical issue on his ART bike.