Estoril: Rossi Second Fiddle to Lorenzo

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Portugal MotoGP

The 2010 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha M1) made a strong start from pole, at the Grand Prix of Portugal on the Estoril circuit, taking the lead into the first corner before briefly relinquishing it to Nicky Hayden (Ducati GP10 Rider) for a few seconds before taking back control of the motorcycle race.

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha M1), looking to mix-it-up after losing the MotoGP title, made a play for the lead on lap four, relegating Lorenzo to second. The greatest-of-all-time MotoGP star tried to break engine No. 99 as he put in a few blistering motorcycle-racing laps.

But, Rossi was no match as on lap 17 Lorezno made a decisive out-braking maneuver that saw the Spaniard retake the lead, putting his head down to build an impressive eight second lead over Rossi by the checkered flag.

The MotoGP victory was another landmark for Lorenzo, being the third consecutive time he has won from pole position at this track. Rossi’s second position finish continues his impressive record in Portugal, giving him his tenth podium here in all motorcycle GP classes.

Rossi’s second-place and a non-finish from Casey Stoner (Ducati GP10) means the Italian has moved back to third in the championship standings, 19 points off Dani Pedrosa (Honda RC212V) and second place.

1st – Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha M1) says: “On the warm-up lap I could see there were still a few wet parts and I knew that I was going to have to be careful at the beginning. I got a great start and was in the lead but eventually Valentino overtook me and then off he went. He had a better pace than me then and I couldn’t go with him.”

“As the track got drier I found my pace improving and then step-by-step I closed the gap and was able to get past him. At that point I felt really good and I am so happy to win for the third time here at Estoril.”

“It was a long time since I have won but my confidence has remained high and I haven’t been worried. I knew I could win here at my favorite track. We also confirmed the MotoGP Triple Crown for Yamaha today so well done to the whole team for this victory.”

2nd – Valentino Rossi (Yamaha M1) says: “Like I said yesterday, a wet warm up and a dry race is a difficult one! I am happy about this weekend, we worked really well on the bike on the wet and this morning I was the fastest in the warm up, if it had been a wet race I could have been very competitive.”

“For the dry we started blind so I had to try to take some risks at the beginning because the setting was ok, but it was not enough because when Jorge got into his rhythm he was faster than me, I had no way to fight with him. I tried to stay with him but he was too fast.”

“Anyway second place is positive for my championship because I am back in third place and I’m not so far from Dani Pedrosa in second. I’m happy to have improved the setting of the bike but we are still not strong enough so we will try to improve for Valencia for a final win with Yamaha.”

Wilco Zeelenberg (Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha MotoGP Team Manager) says: “We struggled at the start a bit with a full fuel tank, Jorge over braked a little on the end of the straight so P1 was not so good in the beginning. After eight or nine laps however the feeling was a lot better and he was able to catch up with Valentino and pass for the win.”

Davide Brivio (Valentino Rossi – Yamaha MotoGP Team Manager) say: “Anyway we took a positive second position and we learned a lot today about out setting for the final race. It was a very positive day for Yamaha too because we took the Triple Crown again, well done to everyone.”

Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi put in a superb first and second respectively to deliver Yamaha it’s third consecutive MotoGP Triple Crown with the Team, Rider and Manufacturers’ titles.

The motorcycling achievement marks the first time since the MotoGP Triple Crown’s inception that any motorcycle manufacturer has won it three times in a row.

The final MotoGP round of the 2010 season comes in one week’s time at Valencia in Spain.