MotoGP 2011: Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) Wins Grand Prix Of Portugal
Spain’s Dani Pedrosa sent a warning shot to his rivals with a fine tactical ride to win the Portuguese MotoGP. Pedrosa stayed on pole-sitter Jorge Lorenzo’s tail until four laps from the end, when he passed the reigning champion and took a commanding lead. Pedrosa’s Honda team-mate Casey Stoner finished third, seven-time champion Valentino Rossi was fifth and Britain’sCal Crutchlow was eighth. Lorenzo leads the standings with 65 points, Pedrosa is second with 61.
“It has been very difficult for me lately so to be here after such an inconvenience is incredible,”- said Pedrosa, referring to his recent shoulder operation.-”The race was very tough, Jorge had amazing pace all the time. But at the end I was there with him and I didn’t want to be second again. I’m in a lot of pain now but I just want to thank all the doctors who have helped me to be here.”
Lorenzo, 23, said: “I didn’t let him pass, he was just a little bit faster. He was behind me all the race and maybe I was more tired physically because I was pushing and pushing and he was just following me.
“He deserved the win, the important thing was to finish the race and get some points for the championship.”
The Estoril race got off to a dramatic start when Italy’s Marco Simoncelli, criticised by Lorenzo this week for his aggressive style, failed to complete the first lap as he high-sided his Gresini Honda on the exit of turn four.
Rossi took advantage of his compatriot’s accident to move up from ninth to fourth on the grid as Lorenzo and Pedrosa made a break from the rest of the pack.
Lorenzo’s team-mate Ben Spies had already left the circuit once when he ditched his Yamaha into a gravel trap at the midway point as the front two increased their lead over Stoner.
Pedrosa was showing no ill effects from that recent operation, which removed a steel plate from his shoulder, and continued to pursue Yamaha’s Lorenzo, who had won all three of his previous MotoGP visits to Estoril from pole position.
Finally, Pedrosa made his move with four laps remaining as he raced up the inside and he had opened up a three-second lead by the chequered flag.
There was further drama at the finishing line as Andrea Dovizioso, the third and final Repsol Hondateam member, pipped Rossi to fourth place by only 0.2 seconds.
Crutchlow’s performance was all the more impressive because it was his first visit to the circuit and he had surgery on his right arm only weeks ago.