Portugal MotoGP: Estoril Race Rider Talk

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Portuguese MotoGP Racer Quotes

For the eighth time of the 2010 MotoGP Championship, Jorge Lorenzo placed his Fiat Yamaha M1 in the number-one position, the Spaniard beating out his rival Valentino Rossi by 8.629 seconds at Estoril for the Portugal Grand Prix.

Taking the final spot on the MotoGP Estoril podium was Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso. The Italian beat out San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli at the line.

Lorenzo scored his third consecutive win at Estoril, taking all three races from the pole. As for Rossi, his second-place finish was his tenth podium out of the past 11 races at Estoril.

Rossi’s finish, combined with the DNF from Ducati Team’s Casey Stoner (Crash), places him back in third in the championship. The nine-time world champion is now 19 points behind the rider currently in second place, Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, as one race remains in Valencia next weekend.

Here’s what the riders were saying after Sunday’s Portugal MotoGP:

Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat 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 favourite track. We also confirmed the Triple Crown for Yamaha today so well done to the whole team for this victory.”

Valentino Rossi (Fiat 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.”

Colin Edwards (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha M1) says: “It was a lottery before the race because we’d had no dry track time and at the start there was still quite a few damp patches around. My guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 though did an awesome job because what we ran on the bike worked pretty good. But if you don’t adapt in a couple of laps then you’re in big trouble and off the pace.”

“It felt pretty good from the start even though it was so difficult in the first few laps. It was hard to find the limit or work out when you were going to slide and everybody was having big moments. This is all going on why you’re trying to push at the same time and it was a bit of a lottery just to keep it on two wheels. I caught that group and I could see third but I couldn’t do anything with them and that was pretty frustrating.”

“I made up time on them on the brakes but they just had a bit more punch coming out of the corners. So each time I’d close up, they’d gap me leaving the next corner. The podium was right there, I could see it, but I just couldn’t get close enough.”

Ben Spies (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha M1) says: “I knew the race was going to be tough because I had never turned a lap in the dry on this track. The first sighting lap was fine and o n the second I just made a mistake at turn four. Aoyama and Capirossi were in front of me and they nearly did the same thing. I just didn’t have the left side of the tyre heated up enough and it spat me off. I’m frustrated because I’m sure even in the dry I could have had a fairly good race. I’ve hurt my left ankle again and it’s pretty painful right now. I’ll have some more scans in Spain but my intention is to go to Valencia and race and hopefully do the test too. We’ll have to wait and see but that’s my plan right now.”

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) says: “I have mixed feelings after this race. On one side the fact that I could finish 28 laps is good because from quite early in the race I didn’t know if it would be possible. On the other hand, I could have finished much higher up if I could have maintained the pace we had in the race. From the third lap I lost strength in my left arm and I couldn’t really feel it. Honestly I didn’t think I could keep that pace at the beginning of the race. At one stage I could see that finishing third would have been possible with the pace we were running, but it was impossible because soon I had no power in the arm.”

“On every lap I was feeling more tired and I couldn’t maintain the 1m 39.5 laps. With ten laps to go I couldn’t keep pushing and I dropped back quite a lot. I’m going to have a check-up again with the doctors tomorrow because the arm still feels quite numb , but anyway we’ll have three days to relax and recover to be ready for Valencia. In terms of the position in the championship, I’m 19 points ahead and so I hope to hold on to second place.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V) says: “To be back onto the podium is so important for us and I’d like to thank my team and fans for their support this weekend. We can’t be completely happy with our pace today because we were a long way from the front two riders, but overall the result is positive for us. The situation at Estoril has been strange for the whole weekend with every session being held in wet conditions and third position was the best we could have done today.”

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team GP10) says: “Today was the first time in my career that I have gone out to race in the dry without completing a single lap in those conditions before lining up on the grid. Over the first few laps the bike worked really well, I felt good and I even managed to lead the race which hasn’t happened for a while.”

“In the middle part of the race I had a couple of moments on damp patches and lost my feeling a little. I got my rhythm back together towards the end and joined in the fight for the podium. Fifth place alongside a crash for Casey isn’t a brilliant result for the team – it has been a tough weekend on everybody but we will try to do better at Valencia.”

Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team GP10) says: “There is not much to say today, other than it’s a shame, obviously. I was taking it steady over the first couple of laps getting the tires up to temperature and then I was able to push a little harder to close the gap to the guys in front of me.”

“When I got on the back of Jorge I wasn’t pushing as hard as I had on the previous laps but I ran a little off line and lost the front. I tried to save it but I wasn’t able to and I am really sorry to all the guys in the team because they have done a good job in difficult conditions to find a good set-up. We will try and make up for it in Valencia.”

“It was quite an aggressive battle with Simoncelli but it has always been like this with him, so I needed to have a strategy for the last lap. He was faster than me in T3 and T4 and every time into the chicane he overtook me, but I knew that it was possible to take him out of the last corner because I had a bit more speed onto the straight, so this was my plan – and it worked. Now it’s possible to fight with Stoner for fourth place in the championship and – although it will be difficult because he was fast here before he crashed and also has a ten point lead – this will be our target for Valencia next weekend.”

Carlos Checa (Pramac Racing Team Ducati) says: “My bike was perfect, but my forearm, unfortunately not. I feel sorry for the technicians who worked for me this weekend and for the Pramac Racing Team, for not having completed today’s race. The bike I got to ride in Superbike this year is very different from the MotoGP given to me by the Pramac Racing Team and it never got the possibility to try it on the dry asphalt condition for more than ten laps, this certainly haven’t helped me.”

“After six laps my forearm pain was really insufferable, I could not properly use the brake, my lap pace was not very good as the beginning of the race, and because of the pain I could not be able to be as fast as I wanted. I tried to keep it until the end, but the pain was too strong to complete the fifteen laps that had separated me from the checked flag. I hope that in Valencia the weather condition will be kind with me so that I can be able to have a good race weekend.”

Aleix Espargaro (Pramac Racing Team Ducati) says: “I cannot understand what happened. I made a very good start by passing from the eleventh to the ninth position after the first sector. My opponents were very close to me and the pace I had this morning had me had high hopes for today’s race.”

“Then suddenly, while I was turning in to a curve, even not one of the fastest of the circuit, I completely lost the rear of my bike as I had found a patch of oil or something very slippery. I tried to go back in the saddle, but my bike was already turned off. Too bad because I really had a good rhythm on this track, both in yesterday’s practice and this morning during the warm up. My thoughts are now turned to Valencia for the final race of the 2010 World Championship.”

Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) says: “I am quite satisfied because this is the best result so far after my bad injury. The weather today was good but it was a sort of gamble for everybody as we did not test in the dry. I took a good start and felt immediately comfortable on the bike. I missed my breaking points in turn one and run wide loosing 3 seconds.”

“Probably without those little mistakes I could have battled for the podium. Since my injury I am still facing some problems in braking the bike and downshifting but I am really pleased with this result and want to thank the Team for the good overall package.”

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Gresini Honda) says: “I am really pleased with my race today. We did everything right and I was able to maintain a good rhythm from the start to the end. Dovizioso was a little bit faster than me on the straights but I still thought I could beat him. Unfortunately I made a tiny mistake in the final turn and lost a little bit of speed onto the straight, which gave him the advantage over the line.”

“It was a shame but I am still delighted because this feels almost as good as a podium to us. Over the last four or five races I have been consistently on the pace from Friday practice and we did it again here at Estoril. Obviously we still have to work to improve the bike, especially the electronics, if we want to be on the podium but maybe we can do that at Valencia. ”

Marco Melandri (San Carlo Gresini Honda) says: “I am disappointed and upset because nothing has gone our way since the start of the season. I don’t know what else to say and I don’t want to start talking about why this is happening to us. All I can say is that I am very disappointed.”

Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki GSV-R) says: “I feel very disappointed because I just didn’t expect this result here. I know the weekend has been very strange, because we only rode in dry conditions in the race, but before I came here I thought we would have a good performance.”

“When I started the race I quickly realized I couldn’t get a good rhythm because I didn’t seem to have much grip in the front or rear tires and on the straights I also had a problem with the bike being very unstable – I even had to close the throttle sometimes because I couldn’t control the bike properly. I fought for a position in the top-10, but I also had a bit of a problem with braking hard and that made it very difficult to overtake other riders. I hope that next week we can finish the season with a good result to make up for today’s disappointment.”

Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki GSVR) says: “The race was not so good, nor was the position, but I am still happy because it has been a long time since I have finished a race. I don’t remember when the last one was – I think it was Indianapolis – so to finish was my first target today. We never rode in dry conditions here all weekend so we did not know what setting to go for in the race and the bike was really unstable today, so I had to fight with that as well. I was able to overtake Carlos early on and from then I just wanted to finish the race. It has been really hard for me today, but as I said I am happy just to finish.”

Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) says: “I had a good start, but I didn’t want to risk anything at the beginning of the race. I wanted to see how the bike and the tires react on this condition first. Then it went better and better and I was faster and faster at the middle of the race. I could catch the group in front of me and was able to overtake them. Unfortunately I made a mistake then and to avoid crashing I had to go wide. Fortunately I didn’t crash, but I lost my position. I am angry about the mistake, but that is racing and it happens. Next time I will try to ride a better race in Valencia.”