Stoner from start in Estoril
STORMIN' STONER: Australian Casey Stoner led the 2012 Portuguese MotoGP from start to finish for his first win on the track. Image: AFP
Estoril, Portugal - Australian World champion Casey Stoner won the Portuguese MotoGP here on Sunday for his second successive victory this season, giving him a one-point lead in the title race.
The 26-year-old Honda rider - whose win here was his first in the race and means he has won on every GP track - beat Spain's 2010 World champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha).
Stoner's team mate Dani Pedrosa became only the seventh rider to celebrate 100 podium finishes with his third place.
‘BIT OF PRESSURE’
Stoner - who has been affected by “arm pump” where the nerves get trapped and numb the hand - said it was a tough event. "There was a bit of pressure throughout the race," said the man who won his first Spanish MotoGP the previous weekend. "I wasn't feeling good or comfortable and I had a bit of arm pump. I was lucky to hold on and win."
Lorenzo, winner at Estoril twice (including his first win at this level) said he had never felt as if he was going to win. “I only ever expected to be, at best, second," said Lorenzo who saw his run of four poles ended here on Saturday when he was fourth fastest. "We had a lot of problems in practice and were losing time every lap in the straight. Stoner was very strong."
Pedrosa, too, conceded that his team mate had been too good. "It was really tough. Casey put up a really strong pace and I had to adapt my riding style. I wasn't able to keep up with the pace he was setting up front."
Pedrosa got the better start but was quickly passed by both Stoner and Lorenzo while Cal Crutchlow lost two spots and Valentino Rossi, who had qualified in his highest position on Saturday, gained two places from ninth to seventh.
Ben Spies once again disappointed as he lost places after a good qualifying (fifth-fastest on his Yamaha) but the laid back American - who listened to the band Metallica while waiting on the grid - dropped to ninth after a quarter of the race had been run.
The pressure will only increase on Spies as he has been given a target of winning two races this term and was eventually only to finish eighth, behind Rossi, who recorded his best finish of the season on his Ducati.
Up ahead, Stoner, Lorenzo and Pedrosa opened up a sizeable gap over the remainder of the field as they fought out the podium places with 20 laps remaining. Some six seconds back, Andrea Dovizioso and Crutchlow were having their own duel for fourth and fifth while Rossi consolidated seventh.
With 10 laps to go Stoner and Lorenzo looked to have the race to themselves as Pedrosa dropped off slightly. Further behind the field was whittled down to 16 out of 20 starters.
Stoner repelled everything that Lorenzo tried to throw at him and, going into the final lap, held a comfortable lead of just over a second and never looked like relinquishing that advantage.
Result from the 2012 Portuguese MotoGP
1 Casey Stoner (Australia) Honda 45min37.513
2 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 45min38.934
3 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 45min41.134
4 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Yamaha 45min51.359
5 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Yamaha 45min54.203
6 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda 45min59.397
7 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Ducati 46min04.310
8 Ben Spies (US) Yamaha 46min10.775
9 Stefan Bradl (Germany) Honda 46min13.380
10 Hector Barbera (Spain) Ducati 46min30.876
11 Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati 46min40.143
12 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Aprilia 46min58.249
13 Randy de Puniet (France) Aprilia 47min00.996
14 Michele Pirro (Italy) Honda 47min15.418
15 Danilo Petrucci (Italy) Ioda 1 Lap
MotoGP championship points standings
1 Casey Stoner (Australia) Honda 66
2 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 65
3 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 52
4 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Yamaha 37
5 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Yamaha 35
6 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda 29
7 Stefan Bradl (Germany) Honda 24
8 Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati 23
9 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Ducati 22
10 Hector Barbera (Spain) Ducati 19
11 Ben Spies (US) Yamaha 18
12 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Aprilia 9
13 Randy de Puniet (France) Aprilia 6
14 Colin Edwards (US) Suter 4
15 Danilo Petrucci (Italy) Ioda Racing Project 4
MARQUES TAKES MOTO2
Spaniard Marc Marquez won the 2012 Portuguese Moto2 GP at Estoril on Sunday for his 19th career victory and second of the season.
The 19-year-old Suter rider won the third race of the championship ahead of another Spaniard, Pol Espargero on a Kalex, and Swiss Thomas Luthi was third on another Suter.
Marquez's victory saw him extend his lead in the overall standings.
Result from the Portuguese Motorcycling
GP Moto2 race in Estoril on Sunday
1 Marc Marquez (Spain) Suter 44min04086
2 Pol Espargaro (Spain) Kalex 44min06.073
3 Thomas Luethi (Switzerland) Suter 44min06.157
4 Johann Zarco (France) Motobi 44min13.313
5 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Speed Up 44min14.567
6 Alex de Angelis (San Marino) Suter 44min25.266
7 Toni Elias (Spain) Suter 44min25.480
8 Julian Simon (Spain) Suter 44min25.590
9 Mika Kallio (Finland) Kalex 44min25.667
10 Bradley Smith (Britain) Tech3 44min28.186
11 Scott Redding (Britain) Kalex 44min31.334
12 Dominique Aegerter (Switzerland) Suter 44min34.173
13 Xavier Simeon (Belgium) Tech3 44min34.218
14 Claudio Corti (Italy) Kalex 44min34.343
15 Ricard Cardus (Spain) AJR 44min34.965
Moto2 championship points standings
1 Marc Marquez (Spain) Suter 70
2 Pol Espargaro (Spain) Kalex 61
3 Thomas Luethi (Switzerland) Suter 43
4 Andrea Iannone (Italy) FTR 33
5 Scott Redding (Britain) Kalex 28
6 Johann Zarco (France) Motobi 23
7 Mika Kallio (Finland) Kalex 22
8 Toni Elias (Spain) Suter 19
9 Bradley Smith (Britain) Tech 3 18
10 Alex de Angelis (San Marino) Forward Racing 14
1 Sandro Cortese (Germany) KTM 41min34.536
2 Maverick Vinales (Spain) Honda 41min34.591
3 Luis Salom (Spain) Kalex 41min45.574
4 Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Malaysia) KTM 41min46.731
5 Efren Vazquez (Spain) Honda 41min55.470
6 Niccolo Antonelli (Italy) Honda 41min55.512
7 Alex Rins (Spain) Honda 41min56.328
8 Danny Kent (Britain) KTM 41min56.424
9 Alexis Masbou (France) Honda 41min57.582
10. Jakub Kornfeil (Czech Republic) Honda 41min57.846
11 Brad Binder (South Africa) Kalex 41min57.915
12 Hector Faubel (Spain) Kalex 41min58.299
13 Arthur Sissis (Australia) KTM 41min58.844
14 Alberto Moncayo (Spain) Kalex 41min59.551
15 Alex Marquez (Spain) Honda 42min00.986
Moto 3 points standings
1 Sandro Cortese (Germany) KTM 57
2 Maverick Vinales (Spain) Honda 55
3 Luis Salom (Spain) Kalex 49
4 Romano Fenati (Italy) Honda 45
5 Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Malaysia) KTM 29
6 Alex Rins (Spain) Honda 28
7 Alexis Masbou (France) Honda 18
8 Niccolo Antonelli (Italy) Honda 18
9 Danny Kent (Britain) KTM 16
10 Hector Faubel (Spain) Kalex 15