2012 MotoGP Championship
Spoiler Alert: 2012 MotoGP Championship results from Estoril, Portugal, listed below
Following a short, one-week break, the 2012 MotoGP Championship continued this weekend at Estoril, Portugal, for Round 3 of 18.
And like it has since joining the MotoGP Championship in 2000, the Portugese circuit just west of Lisbon challenged the 20-rider grid (minus Colin Edwards) with its bumpy straights, long-radius corners and the tricky chicane between turns 8 and 10.
And this challenges shrunk the grid by one rider; the race was minus Edwards due to a hectic crash during Saturday’s qualifying. The NGM Forward Racing CRT rider was involved in a tangle with Power Electronic Aspar’s Randy de Puniet, and broke his left shoulder. Due to the injury, Edwards was forced to miss the round, and will go undergo surgery.
Once things got underway Sunday, though, one rider quickly returned to his normal rhythm -Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner. The Australian, who also won last week’s round in Jerez, started from the pole, and was in front by the beginning of turn 2.
The two-time MotoGP Champion then went on to lead all 27 laps at Estoril, finishing 1.421 seconds ahead of his rival, the 2010 MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo. Taking the final podium position was Stoner’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa.
The action was intense from the outset; getting off the line first was Pedrosa, followed closely by Lorenzo and Stoner. But Stoner charged to the front at the start of turn 2, rubbing some paint with Pedrosa as he passed. Lorenzo also got pass his fellow compatriot Pedrosa, and these top three remained in their eventual podium finishes for the entire race.
Getting a fourth-place start was Lorenzo’s teammate, Ben Spies. But the Texan ran wide, falling back into seventh where he began a duel with Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi. As the top three pulled away from the remaining riders, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow began battling for fourth.
By the halfway point, Speed Master rider Mattia Pasini had crashed out after losing the front of his Aprilia-powered CRT, and Avintia Blusen CRT rider IVan Silva retired due to pain from a crash during warm up. With 11 laps remaining, Silva’s teammate also crashed.
The drama continued when Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison (Kawasaki) retired with engine issues with nine laps to go. Cardion AB Racing Ducati’s Karel Abraham then crashed with five laps remaining.
As the top three came to the line, Dovi was able to hold off his teammate for fourth. Taking sixth was San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, followed by Rossi in seventh and Spies in eight. Rounding out the top 10 were LCR hodna’s Stefan Bradl and Pramac Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera.
Taking the top CRT honors once again was Power Electronic Aspar (Aprilia) rider Aleix Espargaro, who finished 12th ahead of Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden.
With his win, Stoner has now won a race in the premier class on every single track currently on the MotoGP calendar. Stoner now leads the 2012 MotoGP Championship with 66 points after three of 18 rounds. But just a point behind is Lorenzo, with Pedrosa in third with 52 points.
The 2012 Championship now breaks for two weeks before the French Grand Prix at Le Mans May 18-20.
2012 Estoril MotoGP Results:
|1||25||1||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||154.0||45’37.513|
|2||20||99||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||153.9||+1.421|
|3||16||26||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||153.8||+3.621|
|4||13||4||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||153.2||+13.846|
|5||11||35||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||153.1||+16.690|
|6||10||19||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||152.8||+21.884|
|8||8||11||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||152.1||+33.262|
|9||7||6||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||152.0||+35.867|
|10||6||8||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||151.0||+53.363|
|12||4||41||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||149.6||+1’20.736|
|13||3||14||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||149.4||+1’23.483|
|14||2||51||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||148.7||+1’37.905|
|15||1||9||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda||147.2||1 Lap|
|17||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||144.7||5 Laps|
|77||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||146.4||10 Laps|
|68||COL||Avintia Blusens||BQR||148.7||12 Laps|
|54||ITA||Speed Master||ART||148.8||17 Laps|
|22||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR||144.0||17 Laps|
2012 MotoGP Championship Point Standings (After three of 18 rounds):
13.Randy DE PUNIETARTFRA6