MotoGP Estoril Race Results & Report: Lorenzo Wins Portuguese GP Marked By Actual Racing

What Happens When Scrappy is a Race Mission

9:50am EST — Jorge Lorenzo won the 2010 Portuguese Grand Prix from pole, though it was not that simple.  He lost the lead on the first lap to fifth-place finisher Nicky Hayden, then to second-place finisher Valentino Rossi, who held the lead through the early half of the race.  The two teammates fought over first, with Lorenzo coming back form a two second gap to dominate and win by over eight seconds.  Andrea Dovizioso finished a hard-won third, fighting with fourth-place finisher Marco Simoncelli and Hayden, with teammate Dani Pedrosa in the mid-pack fighting until his injury tired him.  Casey Stoner crashed out in the first third fo the race while Ben Spies did not start, dislocating his left ankle on an installation lap crash.

Rain was the story at Estoril, washing out the first practice, lengthening the third, and forcing a cancellation of qualifying.  Rather than the usual hour of running, the torrential rain forced a delay, then a complete cancellation of all qualifying on Saturday a half hour after MotoGP qualifying should have started.  Instead, the starting grid was decided by the combined practice times, putting Lorenzo, Hayden, and Rossi onto the front row for the second to last round of the MotoGP season, at Estoril.  Both Pedrosa and Capirossi, out recently due to injuries, practiced and are likely to race Sunday.  Checa has replaced Kallio for the final two rounds of the season at Pramac Ducati.  In the morning warm-up, Rossi led Stoner, Lorenzo, Spies, and Simoncelli as the fastest five as conditions were damp, but not actively raining, though wind continued to buffet the circuit during the warm-up.  Spies went down on the sighting lap, with reports saying that he was first sitting down, then conscious but taken away on a stretcher.  He did not return to the pit lane on time, keeping him from his fifth place start (middle of row two). He was also taken to the medical center and declared unfit to race, as he had dislocated his left ankle.

The sun was actually shining as the lights went out, with Lorenzo keeping the lead as Hayden got off slowly.  Dovizioso had an amazing start, going to second from seventh.  Hayden was third, Rossi fourth, and de Puniet fifth.  Hayden slid under Dovizioso for second while further back Edwards pushed through on Simoncelli.  Espargaro was the first man out, limping and helped of the track by marshals.  Hayden attacked Lorenzo for the lead and took it, pulling a tiny gap immediately on all soft tires.  Rossi went through on Dovi, who ran wide and lost position to Stoner.  He then slid under for second, then losing position the whole way back to fifth.  Meanwhile, Lorenzo was back in front of Hayden, who then lost second to Rossi.  Stoner went around Dovizioso for fourth as the top five continually swapped position. Rossi took the lead from Lorenzo on L4 through the uphill chicane with Stoner close behind, then Hayden. 

Five laps into the twenty-eight lap race, Rossi led Lorenzo, Hayden, Dovizioso, Simoncelli, de Puniet, and Edwards as the top ten.  Rossi’s lead was nearly two seconds.  Stoner, though, was out soon thereafter through the Parabolica, with the rear sliding out from under him.  He was uninjured.  Rossi had gained a lead on Lorenzo, almost a second, while Hayden languished nearly two seconds behind Lorenzo, with the rest of the grid further back.  Pedrosa was sliding his way up the field, despite his collarbone injury.  At the end of L9, Rossi led Lorenzo by 1.837s, with Hayden in the final podium position another two and a half seconds behind.  Dovizioso had a moment on that lap, losing fifth to Pedrosa and de Puniet.  Rossi still led on L15, but by less than a half second.  Hayden, under pressure form Simoncelli, was eleven and a half seconds behind.  Pedrosa was in fifth on his return after a broken collarbone.  Meanwhile, Checa was out, pulling into the garage with a mechanical issue.

The battle was on at the halfway point of the race, with the Fiat Yamaha teammates ahead but looking to fight each other.  Lorenzo had a draft as L15 ended, pushing his way past Rossi for the lead into Turn 1.  Lorenzo was hard on it to keep the lead and gain a gap.  Meanwhile, Simoncelli had slid through for third on Hayden as the Repsol Honda teammates fought just behind Simoncelli and Hayden.  Ten laps left, Lorenzo led Rossi by a second, with Simoncelli leading a large pack twenty seconds behind.  Dovizioso had squeaked through on Hayden into Turn 1, while Hayden was ahead of Pedrosa, and Edwards joining up on the tail.  That gap between the new world champion and the most recent world champion was up to two seconds by the end of L20.  They still had a huge gap back to third (17.444s) place Simoncelli.  On the next lap, Dovizoso and Simoncelli were scrapping for third, back and forth between them, as Hayden took fifth from Pedrosa.  The laps were sliding away as third was still up for grabs.  Lorenzo led Rossi, Dovizioso, Simoncelli, and Hayden as the top five with five laps left.

With three to go, Lorenzo’s lead was undisputed, well over five seconds on Rossi, then Simoncelli another twenty seconds behind.  On L26, Dovizioso took the podium position from Simoncelli dramatically, who then attempted a pass as the second to last lap ended, though Dovizioso kept third as the final lap began.  Hayden appeared to be waiting for a mistake from either Italian, the only thing he could do.  Lorenzo took the win, as Simoncelli was around Dovi for third, though Simoncelli was unable to keep the position as Dovizioso’s Honda simply had more drive down the straight and across the line.  Hayden finished fifth.

Final Positions for the 2010 Portuguese Grand Prix:
1. Lorenzo
2. Rossi +8.629
3. Dovizioso +26.475
4. Simoncelli +26.534
5. Hayden +27.154
6. de Puniet +28.297
7. Edwards +30.109
8. Pedrosa +44.947
9. Melandri +1:13.649
10. Barbera +1:17.721
11. Bautista +1:17.908
12. Aoyama +1:33.025
13. Capirossi +1:39.752
Spies (did not start due to sighting lap fall)


1 Comment

  1. You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material

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