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May 6, 2012

Updated: MotoGP World Championship Race Results From Estoril

Casey Stoner (1) leads Jorge Lorenzo (99) and Dani Pedrosa (26) at Estoril.
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Estoril, Portugal
May 6, 2012
Race Results:

MotoGP (all on Bridgestone tires):

1. Casey STONER, Australia (HONDA), 28 laps, 45:37.513
2. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), -1.421
3. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), -3.621
4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (YAMAHA), -13.846
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), -16.690
6. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), -21.884
7. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (DUCATI), -26.797
8. Ben SPIES, USA (YAMAHA), -33.262
9. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), -35.867
10. Hector BARBERA, Spain (DUCATI), -53.363
11. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), -62.630
12. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (Aprilia-ART), -80.736
13. Randy DE PUNIET, France (Aprilia-ART), -83.483
14. Michele PIRRO, Italy (Honda-FTR), -97.905
15. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (Aprilia-IODA/ART), -1 lap
16. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (DUCATI), -5 laps, DNF, crash
17. James ELLISON, UK (Aprilia-PBM/ART), -10 laps, DNF, retired
18. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (Kawasaki-FTR/BQR), -12 laps, DNF, crash
19. Mattia PASINI, Italy (Aprilia-Speed Master/ART), -17 laps, DNF, crash
20. Ivan SILVA, Spain (Kawasaki-FTR/BQR), -17 laps, DNF, retired
21. Colin EDWARDS, USA (BMW-Suter), DNS


MotoGP World Championship Point Standings (after 3 of 18 races):

1. Stoner, 66 points
2. Lorenzo, 65
3. Pedrosa, 52
4. Crutchlow, 37
5. Dovizioso, 35
6. Bautista, 29
7. Bradl, 24
8. Hayden, 23
9. Rossi, 22
10. Barbera, 19
11. Spies, 18
12. Espargaro, 9
13. De Puniet, 6
14. TIE, Edwards/Petrucci, 4
16. TIE, Pirro/Pasini/Hernandez, 2
19. Silva, 1




Moto2 (all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):

1. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (SUTER), 26 laps, 44:04.086
2. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (KALEX), -1.987 seconds
3. Thomas LUTHI, Switzerland (SUTER), -2.071
4. Johann ZARCO, France (MOTOBI), -9.227
5. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (SPEED UP), -10.481
6. Alex DE ANGELIS, San Marino (SUTER), -21.180
7. Toni ELIAS, Spain (SUTER), -21.394
8. Julian SIMON, Spain (SUTER), -21.504
9. Mika KALLIO, Finland (KALEX), -21.581
10. Bradley SMITH, UK (TECH 3), -24.100
11. Scott REDDING, UK (KALEX), -27.248
12. Dominique AEGERTER, Switzerland (SUTER), -30.087
13. Xavier SIMEON, Belgium (TECH 3), -30.132
14. Claudio CORTI, Italy (KALEX), -30.257
15. Ricard CARDUS, Spain (AJR), -30.879
16. Nicolas TEROL, Spain (SUTER), -31.097
17. Anthony WEST, Australia (MORIWAKI), -43.099
18. Takaaki NAKAGAMI, Japan (KALEX), -47.282
19. Randy KRUMMENACHER, Switzerland (KALEX), -47.399
20. Max NEUKIRCHNER, Germany (KALEX), -48.143
21. Roberto ROLFO, Italy (SUTER), -53.563
22. Angel RODRIGUEZ, Spain (FTR), -54.530
23. Ratthapark WILAIROT, Thailand (MORIWAKI), -55.666
24. Esteve RABAT, Spain (KALEX), -84.889, crash
25. Alexander LUNDH, Sweden (MZ-RE HONDA), -92.467
26. Elena ROSELL, Spain (MORIWAKI), -100.748
27. Marco COLANDREA, Switzerland (FTR), -1 lap
28. Gino REA, UK (MORIWAKI), -1 lap, retired
29. Mike DI MEGLIO, France (SPEED UP), -6 laps, DNF, crash
30. Simone CORSI, Italy (FTR), -7 laps, DNF, crash
31. Axel PONS, Spain (KALEX), -15 laps, DNF, crash
32. Yuki TAKAHASHI, Japan (SUTER), -21 laps, DNF, crash


Moto2 World Championship Point Standings (after 3 of 17 races):

1. Marquez, 70 points
2. Espargaro, 61
3. Luthi, 43
4. Iannone, 33
5. Redding, 28
6. Zarco, 23
7. Kallio, 22
8. Elias, 19
9. Smith, 18
10. De Angelis, 14




Moto3 World Championship:

1. Sandro CORTESE, Germany (Ajo KTM), 23 laps, 41:34.536
2. Maverick VIÑALES, Spain (FTR HONDA), -0.055 second
3. Luis SALOM, Spain (KALEX KTM), -11.038 seconds
4. Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN, Malaysia (KTM), -12.195
5. Efren VAZQUEZ, Spain (FTR HONDA), -20.934
6. Niccolò ANTONELLI, Italy (FTR HONDA), -20.976
7. Alex RINS, Spain (SUTER HONDA), -21.792
8. Danny KENT, UK (Ajo KTM), -21.888
9. Alexis MASBOU, France (HONDA), -23.046
10. Jakub KORNFEIL, Czech Republic (FTR HONDA), -23.310


Moto3 World Championship Point Standings (after 3 of 17 races):

1. Cortese, 57 points
2. Vinales, 55
3. Salom, 49
4. Fenati, 45
5. Khairuddin, 29
6. Rins, 28
7. TIE, Masbou/Antonelli, 18
9. Kent, 16
10. Faubel, 15




More, from a press release issued by JiR Moto2 Team:

Team JiR and Johann Zarco finish fourth in Estoril thriller

Johann Zarco finished today's Portuguese Moto2 race in a fine fourth place, in only his third championship event on the Team JiR MotoBI.

At the start of the 26-lap race, Johann was fighting hard in the pack from his fourth spot on the grid and was fifth by the middle of the first lap, and from there he moved up to fourth position. He then spent the early laps of the race battling for the lead with Marc Marquez, Thomas Luthi and Pol Espargaro. Johann was as high as second place after eight laps of the race, but the greater experience of the top three soon told, and they pulled away from the Frenchman, leaving him in a lonely fourth place which he held until the flag. This superb result moves the 21-year-old into sixth place in the Moto2 world championship.

The final battle for the lead was a thrilling affair, with the race won on the last lap by Marquez.

Gianluca Montiron

I think this was a very positive race for us. Johann learned a lot from the other guys today about racing a Moto2 machine and he learned a lot about his MotoBI. I expected that his lap times would drop off a little in the middle of the race as this was the first time he stayed with the leading riders. This was good experience for him, as he had to try and adapt to riding on the worn tyres. For me today it was important for a young rider like Johann to finish the race and get that experience of racing the MotoBI on tyres that are past their best. We are enthusiastic about how our project is going at the moment in Moto2, we are going forward in the right direction and looking forward to the next races even if perhaps we will not have such high expectations of a similar result, as it is still early days for Johann in Moto2.


Johann Zarco
Final position: 4th
Best lap: 1m 41.128s

That was a good race for me! In the first corner from fourth position on the grid I tried to keep this position and close the door on the other riders, but I was overtaken by a few of them. I then tried to get closer to the leaders and soon after some laps I found myself in third position. I passed Espargaro and later Marquez into the first corner and I could see Luthi was leading with a small gap, but with every passing lap I could feel that the rear tyre on my MotoBI was losing traction a little. Even so, my pace was well into the 1m 41s bracket, so I was happy. When I was in fourth place I began to have some slides from the rear tyre, and then Andrea Iannone was catching me up, so I had to pick up the pace again and I held him off to keep fourth place. This result is better than I was expecting at Estoril, so I am happy. With this result I can go forward to Le Mans without so much pressure for the result. I now want to continue with my training and be even stronger at the front of the Moto2 pack.




More, from a press release issued by Speed Master:

TOP 5 FOR ANDREA IANNONE IN THE PORTUGUESE GRAND PRIX, DI MEGLIO CRASHES OUT

The third race of the 2012 season for the Moto2 class was held today, at the circuit of Estoril, Portugal.

After a positive warm up, Iannone started from the sixth spot on the grid. Once he got over the initial phases of the race, Andrea stayed with the leading group, keeping his eyes on his rivals. On the eleventh lap, however, he left the racing line and made a quick trip in the gravel, which made him lose contact with the race leaders. Thanks to some good lap times, the Italian managed to come back and finally crossed the finishing line in a great fifth position.

It was an unlucky day for Mike Di Meglio. The Frenchman, after a difficult beginning, was improving his pace, setting more competitive lap times. On the twenty-first lap another rider collided into him and made him crash out, so that Mike didn't have a chance to fight for points.

Andrea Iannone #29 - 5th
"Unfortunately we made quite a big mistake on the eleventh lap, which prevented us from achieving a better result. However, for the rest of the race we were fast. The only thing we have to do now is to keep positive and stay calm: we need to work to find some solutions to have a better bike performance. In any case I'm not worried, I'm sure we'll manage to fight to show our competitiveness. I'd like to thank the team and the people that work for me, who help me to do my best each day."

Mike di Meglio #63 - crashed out
"I'm sorry the weekend ended in this way. I got pushed out by another rider with few laps to go and there was no way to rejoin the race. In the beginning I was struggling quite a bit to ride my bike, but lap after lap my feeling improved, as well as my lap times. We need to find out how to be faster in the first part of the race, when we're on full tank. Now we can only look forwards to the Le Mans Grand Prix, which is the race in my homeland. Let's see what happens there."




More, from a press release issued by Speed Master:

PASINI CRASHES OUT AND IS FORCED TO GIVE IN FIGHTING FOR POINTS IN THE ESTORIL GRAND PRIX

The third MotoGP round of the year was held today, at the "Autódromo Fernando Pires da Silva" in Estoril.

Pasini, who started from the seventeenth spot on the grid, managed to make a progress after the first few laps, maintaining a consistent pace on top of his ART machine. The Italian got into the fight for the points, together with Randy De Puniet and Aleix Espargarò, waiting for the last part of the race to improve his position.

Mattia, however, crashed out on the twelfth lap, when he was in fifteenth position, and was forced to retire.

Mattia Pasini #54 - crashed out
"We didn't really start the race well, but after the sessions of yesterday we knew that the feeling with the bike was good and that there was a chance to make a good race. Mostly we knew that we could have made the difference at the end of the race. Little by little I was coming back, I managed to pass some riders and I was together with the other CRT machines, with De Puniet and Espargarò. I was saving some tyres for the last laps. Unfortunately I made a mistake, I crashed out so the race went to waste. However, all in all I am happy: the feeling with the bike improved quite a lot and we are kind of fast. Step by step we are making progress and we are understanding how to make our ART machine work. Let's start again from Le Mans, charged and ready to work to improve more."




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

DIFFICULT RACE FOR THE GREEN TEAM

At 13:00 local time, the Grande Premio de Portugal 2012 got underway with sunny skies and dry track, after two days of practice that took place in mixed weather conditions.

The White and Green rider didn't got a brilliant start and dropped from eighth to eleventh place on the first lap, as he struggled to find confidence with his GP12.

On lap two Hector was able to pass the factory Ducati rider Nicky Hayden, but he was bound to stay in 10th place, because of a shoulder pain that didn't allow him to get the full potential of his bike. His top-ten position has him into the topten in the overall World Championship standings with 19 points after three rounds.

The Pramac Racing team will remain at Estoril tomorrow for a MotoGP test session before heading to Le Mans in two weeks' time for round four.

Hèctor Barberà - Rider Pramac Racing Team -

" I am bitterly disappointed with today. After a lot of hard work by the crew this weekend we started the race with a very competitive setup and I was feeling good. On lap five I started to struggle a lot due to a physical issue with my shoulder and I wasn't able to use the full potential of my GP12, losing the group in front of me that included Stefan Bradl and Ben Spies.

Toward the end I decided to manage my position and I preferred to take home some important points in order to remain into the top ten in the overall World Championship".

Francesco Guidotti Team Manager Pramac Racing

"The race was more difficult than we expected, due to a less-than-stellar start.
In addiction, at the beginning, Hèctor struggled to overtake the rider in front of him, losing the contact with Bradl and Spies and he stayed in 10th place for the last 26-laps. Now we are focusing on the next race, which will took place in a couple of weeks in France".




More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Determined Stoner takes first win at Estoril

Round 3: Portuguese MotoGP™ - Race
Circuito do Estoril, Sunday 6 May 2012

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium; Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 19-20°C; Track 32-38°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner has now won a MotoGP™ race at every circuit on the calendar after the Australian took his second successive victory in a strong performance at Estoril.

Jorge Lorenzo on the Yamaha Factory Racing M1 put Stoner under pressure throughout the entire race but ultimately could not find a way past the defending champion. Dani Pedrosa completed the podium on the second Repsol Honda RC213V while for the second race in a row, Power Electronics Aspar's Aleix Espargaro was the first CRT rider across the finish line in 12th place, just ahead of teammate Randy de Puniet.

As track conditions for the race were warm, but not hot at around the mid-35°C mark, all riders on the grid chose to run the softer rear slick, which at Estoril is the medium compound, in combination with the medium compound front slick tyre. Of the twenty riders that selected the medium front slick, thirteen opted for the compound in the new specification front slick tyre including top-five finishers Jorge Lorenzo and Monster Tech3 Yamaha riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow.

Casey Stoner now leads Jorge Lorenzo by one point in the MotoGP™ standings, with Dani Pedrosa 14 points adrift in third place overall.

Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"I'd like extend my congratulations to Casey Stoner on his first MotoGP win at this circuit. Track conditions were better today and our tyres performed very well with Jorge Lorenzo setting a new lap record using a combination of the medium compound rear slick and new specification front slick tyre, also in the medium compound. The winning race time was fourteen seconds quicker than last year with the top three riders pushing each other hard at a very fast and consistent pace right up to the checkered flag.

"The whole race weekend for us was very constructive and I am happy how our 2012 specification tyres performed at this demanding circuit. Now we are focused on assisting teams at tomorrow's post-race test and preparing for the next race at Le Mans in two weeks time."

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"Race conditions today were similar to those we had in qualifying yesterday and as expected all the riders selected the combination of the softer rear slick and the harder front slick. This combination gave riders the best mix of rear grip and front-end feel. I am pleased with the performance of our 2012 specification tyres here at Estoril and in particular, the positive feedback we have received on our new specification front tyre at the last two races shows it performs very well in a wide range of conditions."

Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Race Winner
"In general we've been pretty happy this weekend, though for the race I had to keep up the pace as best I could as my pit-board showed that Jorge was always there behind me. In the middle of the race I tried a few changes to the map settings and slightly changed the way I rode which helped things and in the end we had enough in the bag to hold on for the win."




More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

Repsol Honda Team's Casey Stoner made it two wins in a row to take the lead in the MotoGP™ championship with victory at the Grande Prémio de Portugal Circuito Estoril.

Having led from the start, the reigning World Champion never gave up the lead, as he put in another dominant performance at the Portuguese circuit, ahead of championship rival, Factory Yamaha Team's Jorge Lorenzo. Stoner's win now means he has won at every track on the current MotoGP calendar in the premier class.

The Australian pulled out a gap early on, but Lorenzo and Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa did not give up without the fight, as they slowly closed in on the leader throughout the race. It was however Stoner who put the hammer down in the final laps, to take victory and the championship lead.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Andrea Dovizioso fought a race-long battle with teammate Cal Crutchlow, and came out on top for the first time this season finishing in fourth. San Carlo Honda Gresini's Álvaro Bautista put in another solid performance to take sixth place, finishing ahead of Ducati Team´s Valentino Rossi, who recorded his best finish of the season. Despite still not being near the front, Rossi has stated that he is starting to feel more comfortable on-board his Desmosedici.

After showing promising form all weekend, Yamaha's Ben Spies had another disappointing race, finishing down in eighth after running wide early on in the race. He displaced LCR Honda MotoGP's Stefan Bradl into ninth, ahead of Pramac Racing's Héctor Barberá in tenth. Power Electronics Aspar's Aleix Espargaró took top CRT spot for a second race in succession.

Cardion AB Racing's Karel Abraham, Speed Master's Mattia Pasini and Avintia Blusens' Yonny Hernández all crashed out in the race, while Hernández's teammate Iván Silva pulled into the pits early on after suffering pain from his earlier warm-up crash. Paul Bird Motorsport's difficult start to the season continued, as Briton James Ellison retired with a mechanical issue on his ART bike.


Moto2™

Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol's Marc Marquez took victory at the Grande Prémio de Portugal Circuito Estoril after a phenomenal last-lap battle with compatriot Pol Espargaró.

Márquez took the holeshot and led the opening stages from Interwetten-Paddock's Tom Lüthi, as Pons 40 HP Tuenti's Espargaró and JiR Moto2's Johann Zarco made their way to the front. It was however Lüthi who took the lead early on, which he held for most of the race. The relentless efforts of Spanish pair Marquez and Espargaró meant that they soon re-caught the Swiss rider, and went past his for the lead. They went on to provided one of the best last-lap battles seen in Moto2, as the pair swapped positions numerous times in the final minute, with Marquez coming out on top after a mistake by Espargaró going into the final chicane.

This makes it two wins from three races for Márquez to extend his championship lead. Lüthi took the final spot on the podium, followed by Zarco, Speed Master's Andrea Iannone and NGM Mobile Forward Racing's Alex De Angelis. Rounding out the top ten are Mapfre Aspar Team's Toni Elías, Blusens Avintia´s Julián Simón, Marc VDS Racing Team's Mika Kallio and Tech 3 Racing's Bradley Smith.

There were numerous crashed throughout the race including NGM Mobile Forward Racing's Yuki Takahashi, Pons 40 HP Tuenti's Axel Pons, his teammate Esteve Rabat, Came IodaRacing Project's Simone Corsi and S/Master Speed Up's Mike Di Meglio. Federal Oil Gresini Moto2's Gino Rea went into the pits with an electrical problem, and subsequently had to retire.


Moto3™

Red Bull KTM Ajo's Sandro Cortese took victory in a thrilling battle to the line with rival Maverick Viñales in the Moto3™ class at the Grande Prémio de Portugal Circuito Estoril.

It was Cortese who got the holeshot and led into the first corner, ahead of Blusens Avintia's Viñales. After the typical Moto3 melee of 34 bikes swapping places in the opening laps, a leading group containing Cortese, RW Racing GP's Luis Salom, JHK T-Shirt Laglisse's Efrén Vázquez, Viñales and Cortese's teammate Danny Kent started to pull away early on.

In the latter stages of the race, Cortese moved past Viñales at the end of the straight to take the lead, though could not shake the young Spaniard, as the two were wheel to wheel for the final three laps. Salom, then lying in fourth, also took the fight to Air-Asia-SIC-Ajo's Zulfahmi Khairuddin in front, as he pushed past him on the first bend with two laps to go.

The last lap was a nail-biting affair as Viñales and Cortese touched fairings throughout, yet it was the German who won the drag to the line after the final bend, to take his first victory of the season and the lead in the championship. The last step on the podium went to Salom, who manage to hold Khairuddin at bay to secure third. The top ten were rounded out by Efrén Vázquez, San Carlo Gresini Moto3's Niccolo Antonelli, Estrella Galicia 0,0's Alex Rins, Danny Kent, Caretta-Technology's Alexis Masbou and Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta's Jakub Kornfeil.




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

2012 Grand Prix of Portugal Estoril

Date : 06/05/2012
Weather : Dry
Temperature : Air: 17 degrees, Ground: 35 degrees
Humidity : 59%
Crowd : 48,951

Victory for Stoner and 100th podium for Pedrosa

Today at the Grand Prix of Portugal, Casey Stoner took his second successive victory of the season with team mate Dani Pedrosa again joining him on the podium with a third position, in another strong race for the Repsol Honda Team which is sure to be remembered.

Today Casey today took his 42nd win in all classes in Grand Prix racing equaling the record of Max Biaggi and Tony Mang. After his win in Estoril today, Casey has now won at every circuit on the current GP calendar.

This podium has also been very special for Dani because with this third place finish, he joins an elite club of riders with 100 career podiums to their name. Only six competitors have achieved the milestone before Pedrosa: Valentino Rossi (175 podiums), Giacomo Agostini (159), Ángel Nieto (139), Phil Read (121), Mike Hailwood (112) and Max Biaggi (111). In addition, at just 26 years of age he is the second youngest, after Rossi to reach this milestone.

Casey's victory has given Honda it's seventh win out of thirteen races in the premier class at the Estoril Circuit. The Australian rider attacked hard from the beginning, setting an incredible first lap of 1'42.369 which put a one second gap between him and Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. The current World Champion led every lap of the 28 lap race and maintained a high pace for the duration with Jorge and Dani also riding consistently in the 1'37's.

The Repsol Honda riders have been on the podium, together with Lorenzo, in all three races held so far this season. Today, Casey also takes the lead in the World Championship standings with 66 points, followed by Lorenzo with 65 and Dani in third with 52 points.

The team remain in Portugal for a one day test tomorrow in preparation for the next GP, at Le Mans in two weeks.


CASEY STONER 1st World Championship Position: 1st with 66 points

"In the end it was another fantastic weekend for us. This morning we were more confident but also a little concerned because yesterday afternoon when we had a very similar setting to FP3 the bike was a little bit worse in the warm conditions. In warm up we didn't have a big problem with chatter but then for the race, under the warmer conditions, we struggled a lot more. This was very difficult to ride with, in the first part of the race I was confident and attacking the track but I closed the front twice due to the chatter. From this point I backed of a little, tried to stay smooth and just wanted to stay in front of Jorge and Dani, but Jorge was coming strong. I had to try and keep my pace and not make too many mistakes, I was changing t he mapping to try and reduce the chatter problem. Towards the end of the race I began to understand how to ride around it, this made things smoother and I found some more pace and was able to bring it home for a great race win".


DANI PEDROSA 3rd World Championship Position: 3rd with 52 points

"It's been a really tough race from the beginning, the pace was very very high from the first lap to the final one. Casey did a good race, unbelievably strong. I had a big shake in the first braking area, Casey and Jorge overtook me and I lost 1.5 seconds on the first lap. During the race I had some issues in the middle of the corner, I was not fast with corner speed; each lap I tried to get a little better, to try and modify my riding style, the mapping, braking later, I tried everything, I managed to match the lap times but not to close the gap. Three races on the podium is very good overall, but in three races we missed something, so let's try it again in the next one. To reach my 100th podium is amazing and shows how fast the time goe s. I'm very happy for that and I want to thank all my teams and sponsors during this time and especially Honda because I've been with them for my whole career".




More, from a press release issued by Marc VDS Racing Team:

Estoril, Portugal - 6 May 2012: Mika Kallio fought his way through the field to finish today's Portuguese Moto2 Grand Prix at Estoril inside the top ten. Scott Redding ran with the leading group in the early stages of the race, before deteriorating rear grip saw him drop down the field to eventually finish two places behind his Marc VDS teammate in 11th.

Kallio got a great start from the sixth row of the grid, making up six places on the opening lap alone. The 29-year-old Finn continued to pick off places as the race progressed, eventually tagging onto the battle for sixth position on lap eight. The Marc VDS rider tried to push his way through to the front of the group, but was thwarted by chatter issues as the fuel load lightened.

From half race distance Kallio, together with Alex De Angelis, was involved in an intense battle with former World Champions Toni Elias and Julian Simon, but dropped back on the final lap and had to settle for ninth place at the chequered flag.

Redding had problems from the start. Throttle response wasn't the same as it had been during practice and qualifying, causing problems on corner exit. As a result the Marc VDS rider initially lost touch with the leading group and then used up his rear tyre trying to re-establish contact.

The 19-year-old Briton fought on, but was gradually relegated to 11th position as rear grip continued to drop off as the race progressed.

Both Marc VDS riders will test for two days at Navarra ahead of the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, which takes place in two weeks time.

Mika Kallio #36: 9th Position
"The start of the race went as planned. The bike felt good and I was able to make up places from the start, fighting my way up to the group battling for sixth place. Unfortunately, as the fuel load dropped I started to have the same problems we had in Qatar and Jerez with chatter. It meant I wasn't able to fight my way through the group to challenge for sixth position and had to settle for ninth at the flag. If we can identify why we have this issue, and find a solution, then I know we can be much stronger over race distance. I wouldn't say I'm happy with today's result, but I'm reasonably satisfied given the problems we've had this weekend."

Scott Redding #45: 11th Position
"The bike didn't sound right on the grid and there was a flat spot from the start. It meant I couldn't pick the bike up out of the turns like I wanted, and it took a few laps to get used to it. I could see the leading group pulling away, but I just didn't have the rear grip on corner entry to stay with them. Every time I tried to push harder, the rear would come round on me and I'd lose ground. Then I had a big moment at turn six and realised that I wasn't going to be able to close the gap. It all went a bit downhill from there. I'm disappointed, but I need to look ahead now to Le Mans, where I hope we can be back where we should be."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Mika was aggressive from the off, making up two rows from the start and then continuing to fight his way forward for the first third of the race. He looked good for sixth place, but then chatter problems meant he didn't have anything left when De Angelis, Elias and Simon made their moves late on in the race. The chatter issue is something we'll be focussing on during our Navarra test next week. Scott had problems from the start, lost ground and then used up his tyre trying to regain the leading group. We need to look at the data to see what caused the flat spot in the power delivery, as it wasn't apparent during this morning's warm-up. To be honest I'm a little disappointed with the results today, as I feel we could have done a lot better."




More, from a press release issued by Avintia Racing:

Maverick Viñales finishes second in Estoril and reduces the gap with the championship leader to only two points

Estoril, 6 May 2012. Today was a very exciting race delivered by Maverick Viñales and Sandro Cortese at the circuit of Estoril. Maverick took the lead practically as soon as the race started and mastered the session. As expected a large pack of riders was making the rule at the beginning of the race but as time went by Mack and Cortese managed to run away and battled for the win on the final lap. With only five laps to go they started a cat and mouse game and constantly swapped positions. With two laps to go Maverick made the final move on Cortese but his KTM enabled the German rider to repel the attack and come out on top five bends away from the finish after a maneuver Maverick did not appreciate. Finally a 55-thousandth difference gave KTM-rider Cortese the win but it is also a good result for the Blusens Avintia as the Roses-rider stepped back on the podium which caused the gap between him and the championship leader to drop down to two points.

25 Maverick Viñales (2º, +0.055): "We did a great job and I think it was a very exciting show too. I battled Sandro and although I think he went over the top on the final lap I am convinced that we delivered a great performance. I am a bit annoyed by what he did but if we had been riding at a higher speed perhaps it wouldn't have happened as I would have managed to snatch a few metres. I hope that Honda will help us out because the KTMs are really fast as you probably noticed today. Since the very beginning I have been repeating that this championship wouldn't be a piece of cake and be rather hard-fought. Today was the proof. Anyway as time goes by everybody will end up where they belong and we are beginning to get the pace that we are looking for."




More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

ANOTHER TOP TEN FINISH FOR MOTOGP ROOKIE STEFAN BRADL

Estoril, 6 May: the LCR Honda MotoGP rider Stefan Bradl takes another positive 9th place in today's 28-lap Grand Prix of Portugal at Estoril holding the 7th position in the world classification with 24 points after three rounds only.

The complex, bumpy and narrow Estoril circuit is always a special challenge, especially for MotoGP rookies like Bradl but the German rinding the Honda RC213V made a typically professional job of his first weekend here on a MotoGP bike ending free practice in tenth and demonstrating his skills in the qualifying session until a red flag incident which relegated him on 11th post on the grid.

Bradl- 9th : "Well... this has been a very hard weekend for us in general. We have struggled a lot with rear grip immediately on Friday morning but Saturday we have found some good adjustments. Unfortunately for the all race we had some issues going into the corners. My start was ok and I could make some good manoeuvres in the beginning but then I was a bit on the limit and in the middle of the race I was losing too much in the corners entries which was our problem all the time during this weekend. Especially in the fast corners I needed to wait in opening the throttle and this cost us a lot of time. We have never had this problem before and Spies had a better pace than us during the race but I can say this is another good weekend for me and the Team".




More, from a press release issued by Avintia Blusens Racing:

Julián Simón ends up in top 10 and scrapes his way back on up

Estoril, 6 May 2012. Julián Simón did a good race in Estoril and gets back among the best riders in the class after two difficult G.P.s at the beginning of the season. Julián made a good start from the third row of the grid and managed to jump up a few positions over the few metres but a bump with De Angelis in the fourth bend on lap got him delayed and past by a large pack which caused him to drop down to the thirteenth position. From then on Julián rode at a high pace which enabled him to catch up with the pursuing group. In a relentless fight between the riders within this pack Julián made it past Kalio, Elías and De Angelis and eventually scraped his way up to the sixth position. On the final lap yet another bump with De Angelis in the chicane caused him to cross the finish in eighth.

Although Julián Simón and his team could achieve the status of favourite there is no doubt that the G.P. of Estoril means a before and an after in Julián´s progression as he is now standing where he should.

60 Julián Simón (8º, +21.504): "After we went through a hard time in the two previous G.P.s, today´s result must be considered as positive. I was confident that I could make a good start and have my chances to be where Zarco and Iannone were - and besides I made it but a bump with De Angelis made these chances vanish. But I am glad though. I fought, I scraped my way back up passing quite a few riders and I even had fun - it´d been the first time. Around the end of the race I started to experience problems which made it difficult for me to maintain my pace and things were getting complicated but I felt that the sixth position was within my reach. Unfortunately I bumped into the Italian again and dropped down by two positions. But I am glad anyway. The team and myself have been adapting better and better to the motorbike. The next round is Le Mans which I particularly like and I think things will be looking up from now on."




More, from a press release issued by Marlboro Ducati:

Positive signs for Rossi in Portuguese GP, misfortune for Hayden

The Portuguese Grand Prix saw the Ducati Team improving with Valentino Rossi and unfortunate with Nicky Hayden. After two days of working on his GP12's settings, the Italian lapped at a pace that was both relatively fast and very consistent, eventually finishing in seventh place, which is his best result of the season so far.

Nicky Hayden, on the other hand, had to just try make it to the finish due to an electrical problem with his bike's ECU, which was subject to interference from a radio signal near the track. As a result, all of the electronic calibrations were out of phase around the circuit, making riding extremely challenging. The American nonetheless rode with great determination to an eleventh-place finish.

Tomorrow the Ducati Team will remain in Portugal for a one-day test, with hopes that the rain forecasts turn out to be wrong so that development can continue on the GP12.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 7th
"It went a bit better this time, in the sense that we started from a better base on Friday and we managed to prepare for today over the course of the weekend. I was able to approach the race knowing what to expect from the bike, and I therefore managed to push harder and get a little closer to the limit. The first laps were decent. I moved up a couple of positions and then I maintained a consistent pace, doing times that we expected to do. We can say that we took advantage of our current potential, and now we'll have to work to make another step forward. We must improve on corner exits and on acceleration because right now we're not able to be as effective as the others due to the fact that we can't get all of the power to the ground. We have a test tomorrow, and we'll start working. Anyway, today I even managed to have some fun."

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 11th
"Starting from the first lap, there was an electrical problem and the bike didn't know where it was on the track. I tried my best to ride around the problem and not make mistakes. It's really a shame to work hard all weekend but not be able to take advantage of it with a result in the race. The team did a great job overnight, and I felt so much better this morning in the warm-up. I almost matched my qualifying lap and was pretty consistent. Of course I'm not saying I was going to fight for the win, but it would have been nice to at least have a decent race. We'll focus on tomorrow's test now and look forward to the next race at Le Mans."

Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager)
"We managed to work well this weekend, taking full advantage of our dry track time to improve the setup and confirm that we now have a good base setting. Today Vale rode the whole race at close to the same pace as his qualifying time, he made some nice passes, and he was able to push a bit closer to the limit. I think this is a good starting point. We're really sorry for Nicky because during the race, a radio signal interfered with our ECU's transponder, forcing him to ride with the electronic calibration out of phase. Riding in those conditions is truly difficult, and he did a great job to finish the race."




More, from a press release issued by Avintia Blusens Racing:

Bad luck for Avintia Blusens in Estoril as Silva dropped out due to injuries and Yonny crashed.

Estoril, 6 May 2012. It has been a tough Sunday for the members of the Avintia Blusens MotoGP team. Yonny´s results in the training sessions were promising for the race. He managed to ride fast in every session and to end up among the best CRTs. During the race the Colombian rider showed that the forecasts were no mistake but a crash with eleven laps to go as he was on third position among the CRTs dismissed his chances to score and to make his good job throughout the weekend come true in the race. And it is a G.P. to forget for Iván Silva. First he struggled to qualify and then a serious crash in the warm-up forced him to drop out of the race as he was suffering hip injuries. In spite of this stroke of bad luck the Avintia Blusens team will carry on working relentlessly and no later than tomorrow will they take a one-day testing session at the very circuit of Estoril.

Raúl Romero (MotoGP Manager ): "It was not a good weekend but we won't give up anyway. Yonny proved to be fast both in the training sessions and in the races, he is capable of scoring and stepping up on the CRT podium. This late crash has deprived us from achieving a great result. Iván has suffered a lot throughout the weekend and seriously crashed in the warm-up. Tommorow we have to work hard and carry out some testing we weren't able to take during the pre-season. We'll try out more changes on the Inmotec and Iván and the team will make make up their minds together before Le Mans. Today it turned out that things weren't as expected but there are still many races to go and we´re keeping the faith."

68 Yonny Hernández (NF): "It´s a real pity I crashed because we were in a good position. It has been a mistake of mine. I braked too briskly and as a consequence my front wheel dropped. It´s a shame because yesterday we did great in the training practices and today we were standing among the best CRTs and we would have scored. But that's all right though we need to focus on the next G.P. And tomorrow we will start to work on improving the traction. If we can make it then I am sure we will be very competitive."

22 Iván Silva (NF): "It has been a tough weekend to be honest. What happened yesterday gave us such a fright and today in the warm-up I got injured in a crash. In spite of it we've been working on the new bike and even if the results haven't been the ones we've expected I think we have our chances. Things were particularly complicated in Estoril because I wasn't familiar with the track and the bike is brand new. My riding was below my standard and in the race the pain forced me to drop by the box to rest as much as possible before tomorrow's testing session so I can be at my best. I would like to apologize to the team and the sponsors. I am the last person to choose to drop out but I think it was the best option today so I will be able to work better tomorrow."




More, from a press release issued by Mapfre Aspar Team:

ELÍAS SHOWS POTENTIAL WHILST TEROL MAKES GREAT COMEBACK

MAPFRE riders Toni Elías and Nico Terol take steps forward on raceday at Portuguese GP.

The Moto2 race at Estoril took place in dry conditions, opening up the day's action in a schedule switch made especially for the Portuguese Grand Prix. The riders in the 600cc category provided plenty of entertainment for the sellout crowd, in a spectacle worthy of being the headline attraction.It was another tight contest in theintermediate class, eventually won by World Championship leader Marc Márquez from fellow Spaniard Pol Espargaró and Swiss rider Thomas Luthi, following a last-lap dice between the former duo.

MAPFRE rider Toni Elias fought his way to a creditable 7th place finish, although he was further off the race leaders than he would have liked. The Spaniard had taken off from ninth on the grid, and became involved in a second pack consisting of the likes of Redding, Kallio, Corsi, Rabat and Simón. He had moved up into sixth for three laps at the midway point, but his lack of a perfect base setting led to him conceding the spot by the time the chequered flag was shown. Elías currently occupies eighth place in the World Championship on 19 points.

Nico Terol was fifteenth in the race, having had problems on the opening corner when looking to make his way through. The MAPFRE rider lost nine places after running off track, riding in 26th by the time lap four came around. Showing a renewed confidence in himself, Terol pushed on to make a fantastic comeback, occupying sixteenth by the end. His improved performance could have worked out even better, had it not been for a scare on the final lap that dropped him two places and put the Spaniard out of the points.

7th Toni Elias: "This isn't the result that I wanted, but it is what it is. I fight and I do what I can. I am more or less in the same spot that I was in at Jerez, albeit just a little bit better. I got a good start, but I lost a lot of time on the first corner. I got stuck with other riders on the opening three laps and lost contact with the leaders. Without much pace, losing touch with the others finishes you off. We have to improve our setup and get on the race pace more. If we have to go elbow to elbow with other riders, then that's what we will have to do. I was in a group of riders who were all fighting hard. I gained three places at the end, which isn't bad."

16th Nico Terol: "I got caught up in a melee on the opening corner. I was feeling good and saw myself moving up the field. I almost collided with another rider, because this bike is more difficult to stop and avoid things, so I ran off the track and had to start again from zero. I had a soft tyre on that allowed me to set a very good pace, around the same as that of Elías and De Angelis, although later on I paid for pushing so hard and my bike gave me a couple of scares. It's frustrating to have just missed out on the points. I was surprised with my pace, as if we take away the first two laps and the last one -in which I was tired and the bike was sliding around- we would have done even better. We have found a good base setting and now we have to work on the details."




More, from a press release issued by Power Electronics Aspar:

POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR TAKE CRT DOUBLE AT ESTORIL

Aleix Espargaró and Randy de Puniet fight for top CRT place in Portuguese GP.

What is likely to be the final Portuguese MotoGP race for a while was pushed forward to a mid-schedule slot on the Sunday lineup, thanks to the time difference used by Portugal with respect to the regular Grand Prix timetable. Coming hot on the heels of last weekend's Spanish GP, the race at Estoril followed much the same script. Casey Stoner won from Jorge Lorenzo, with Dani Pedrosa in third place. The trip had broken away at the beginning of the contest, maintaining their positions until the end.

POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR riders Aleix Espargaró and Randy de Puniet achieved a fantastic CRT double at Estoril, placing 12th and 13th overall. Espargaró was once again in fine form and had increased confidence onboard his ART machine. The Spaniard set off from twelfth place and held onto the position thanks to an improvement in pace as the race went on. Espargaró was the top CRT rider for the second weekend in a row, and he is now the best of the new class with a World Championship total of nine points.

Teammate Randy De Puniet had been looking to push Espargaró, but there was nothing he could do, bearing in mind his fitness issues. The Frenchman had hurt his ribs in a crash yesterday afternoon, but still wanted to compete in his 219th Grand Prix despite pain in his side. After an injection at the Clinica Mobile to reduce the pain, he set about gaining points for his own goal of becoming the best CRT racer. Setting off from 14th, De Puniet moved up one place over the course of the contest, left behind by Espargaró after an exchange of places and the Spaniard's breakaway.

The next round of the World Championship is De Puniet's home race, the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.

12th Aleix Espargaró: "I am very happy. I was riding well on the ART and am delighted to be part of this POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR team. We have improved so much since Qatar and Jerez -yesterday we were the fastest CRT and very close to the Ducatis. I thought that I could catch Abraham in the race and I was battling with Randy a lot today, but I had a little more pace in me this time. We can see that the non-CRTs are making the most of their new tyres at the start of the race and breaking away. Over ten or twelve laps things even out, but by then the race has already taken shape. Our race is our own though. I am clear about wanting to be the best CRT rider this season, so when I found out that Randy was going to be my teammate I knew that it would be tough to fight against him. Today he was very fatigued, admittedly. To lead the way in the CRT standings sounds strange, but we are working well."

13th Randy de Puniet: "That was a very difficult race because of the pain that I have on my left side from yesterday's crash. This morning I got an injection at the Clinica Mobile in order to ride in the warmup and, although I was really sore, I decided that I was going to race. I haven't broken anything, but even breathing hurts me at the moment. The opening lap was difficult, because I had no confidence on the bike. It took me a while to gradually find it and to begin to lower my times. Aleix and I were riding together, but then he picked up the pace and I was left fatigued from lap ten onwards. I couldn't keep up with him. It is a pity that we didn't get the result that we wanted, but I hope to have a good weekend at Le Mans."




More, from a press release issued by Karel Abraham's publicist:

No finish for Karel Abraham after crash at Portuguese Grand Prix

Czech rider Karel Abraham had just five laps remaining to claim his first points of the season, but after a heavy fall in 12th place he was unable to finish the Portuguese Grand Prix. Throughout the race he kept the Ducati Team rider Nick Hayden in his sights, gradually closing the gap down to 1.5 seconds, before suffering an unlucky crash.

Karel Abraham
"ž'I wasn't seriously hurt in today's crash. I was trying to catch Nicky, but lost my rear wheel coming out of a corner. I wasn't expecting a highsider, and I finished up getting thrown off. I'm really angry, that's all I can say about it! Tomorrow during testing we'll see if there's anything else we can do to improve the bike's set-up' said the Czech rider after the race, adding, 'before Le Mans I will get my spine looked at. After the fall in Jerez, I wasn't 100 %, but I'm not going to make excuses for myself. Over the next two weeks I'm going to have to sort myself out and finally get a few points in France.'

Marco Grana, Chief Mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
'This is a real disappointment - the bike was working well, and compared to yesterday, Abaja rode one lap over half a second quicker, which we were all very pleased about. Unfortunately, the incredible effort to overtake Hayden ended with him crashing out. After the morning's warm-up, the track surface had cooled a little, so today we chose a combination of hard front tyre with a soft mixture for the rear. Tomorrow we've got tests, and we'll again be trying out new settings on the motorcycle. The main problem we're facing right now, though, is the mental state of our rider which after three race failures isn't too good.'




More, from a press release issued by Bankia Aspar Team:

BANKIA ASPAR TEAM JUST OUTSIDE TOP TEN IN PORTUGAL

Faubel and Moncayo take points at Estoril, but are looking for more at Le Mans next time out

The final contest up on a modified Grand Prix schedule in Estoril was the Moto3 race, taking to the track after the MotoGP riders had done their thing in Portugal. In dry conditions, the race saw victory go to German Sandro Cortese, ahead of Maverick Viñales and Luis Salom. The packed grandstands of the Portuguese autodrome were treated to an exciting event in the new Grand Prix racing class.

BANKIA ASPAR rider Héctor Faubel started the race from ninth place on the grid, hoping to latch onto the leaders in the early going. That he did, until rookie Romano Fenati clipped his bike and forced him off line, conceding positions as a result. He was able to continue, but the contact cost him the chance to ride with those further up the order and he eventually came home in twelfth.

Teammate Alberto Moncayo took off from seventeenth and took things more slowly at the start, lacking feel with his Moto3 machine. The Spaniard was in the same position as he had started by lap six, before making a gradual push to gain three places and claim two World Championship points.

Faubel is tenth in the Moto3 standings on 15 points, whilst Moncayo in eleventh on 13. Both will be looking to add to that at the next round, the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.

12th Héctor Faubel: "I did not have a good start, remaining in the same position as I had taken on the grid. I was up with the frontrunners for eight laps, but then Fenati made contact with me and that pack escaped. I think that I spent too long on a change, which is where they got away. I was then part of a second group, which had many more battles for position and slower times as a result. If I were to have broken free, I would have gone two seconds a lap faster. I am angry, because I think that this result could have been a lot better."

14th Alberto Moncayo: "That was a difficult race. My start wasn't great and it was hard for me to pick up the pace. I started to go faster later, but in a group in which everyone is tripping over themselves to lead the pack you lose all progress. I ended up riding a second slower when amongst that group. After 23 laps I put in my fastest time. I also think that we made a mistake in running a hard front, because I didn't have a good feel under heavy braking. This is becoming difficult, because we are not developing the potential that we had in preseason. We are going to try a few things and will arrive at Le Mans with more hunger, ready to fight for better positions."




More, from a press release issued by QMMF Racing Team:

West battles for points and ends up 17th
- Rosell rides to a safe race finish

After another big change to the set-up of his Moriwaki bike, Team QMMF rider Anthony West seemed set for his first world championship points of this season. The 30-year-old Australian recovered quickly from his 26th position on the starting grid and held 16th place on lap nine. But then the fuel load dropped and the tyre grip went down, he ran into handling problems again. Unable to continue his hunt, he eventually came home in 17th place.

West's Spanish team-mate Elena Rosell had a nasty crash in the warm-up practice session, but battled on in the race and achieved her goal of a safe race finish.

Anthony West 26th in 1.43,134
"Qualifying was a disaster as we made the wrong change and went really bad. But in the warm-up session this morning, we made another big change and I think what we did was really good. The bike felt perfect on the first laps of the race. I felt really strong and was able to pass everybody. The bike felt stable and was turning quite well. I felt like our place could have been twelfth because I felt stronger than the guys that eventually battled for this position. Unfortunately, it took me two laps extra to Takahashi, also because we are missing some speed on the straight. I had to make a big move to outbrake him and it took longer than it should have. Up to this point, my bike felt really good, but then, all of a sudden, it went back to being as difficult as it had been before. With the lower fuel load and when the tyres went off, the bike was moving in really strange ways and became unstable again. I started to lose grip on the front and I kept losing the front again. It is strange becaue such a small thing like a lower fuel load doesn't affect a Moto2 bike that much normally, but with this bike it makes a big difference. It took me five laps to adjust my riding style and it was a bit frustrating. Our place could have been better, but at least we learned a lot over this weekend!"

Elena Rosell 31st in 1.45,154
"We had a poor start into the day with an ugly crash in the warm-up session this morning, from which I luckily walked away without injury and which also didn't cause too much damage to the bike. I had a lot of lean angle and opened the throttle too early and had a highsider. My team did a great job getting the bike ready for the race, because since the Moto2 Grand Prix was first on the schedule today, there wasn't al lot of time at all. At the beginning of the race, I was still cautious because the crash was in the back of my mind and I definitely didn't want to crash again. But then I found my rhythm and went better and better, clearly faster than in practice. There was another rider in front of me who was a great reference and I even thought of attacking him on the last laps, but then it was better not to take any risks and to get a safe finish in order to re-build my confidence for the races to come!"




More, from a press release issued by Tech 3:

Smith and Simeon collect hard fought points in Portugal

Tech 3 Racing Team riders Bradley Smith and Xavier Simeon secured hard fought 10th and 13th places at the end of an exciting Moto2 race at the Estoril circuit in Portugal today.

British rider Smith delivered on his pre-race promise to attack from the beginning of the 26-lap race and he gained five places on the opening lap to force his way into eighth position from 13th on the grid.

He was involved in a terrific early battle with 2010 Moto2 World Champion Toni Elias before the frantic action settled down and Sm ith found himself back in 13th position.

Just two seconds split Smith in 13th and compatriot Scott Redding in fifth with 12 laps to go but the field began to stretch out with tyre wear starting to play a key role in the second half of the race.

Smith continued to show his fighting spirit and determination and he was back inside the top 10 with six laps remaining. But despite his best efforts, the 21-year-old was unable to force his way into a pulsating four-rider battle for sixth position and he had to settle for 10th position.

Team-mate Simeon also made an aggressive start to the third round of the 2012 World Championship campaign and he brilliantly carved his way through from 22nd to 15th after just two laps.

Feeling more confident to push his Mistral 610 to the limit after a problematic practice and qualifying, the Belgian rider was locked in an exciting battle for 12th with Dominique Aegerter, Claudio Corti, Ricard Cardus and Nicolas Terol. He did briefly snatch 12th place on lap 20 and the reward for his hard work was a second successive 13th place finish.

Bradley Smith 10th 18 points:

"That was a tough race but I am still reasonably happy to be in the top 10. We made an excellent choice with the tyres. I lost a little bit compared to the guys in front but I could do very consistent times for the whole race. My pace got quicker as the race wore on and this is the most positive thing from today. The result might have been better but I made a small mistake at the first corner with three laps remaining. I was catching the guys in front of me a nd got in Mika Kallio's slipstream and that meant I was a little bit late during braking. The gap to the front is quite big but the guys around me are really good riders and experienced, so we will continue working hard and preparing for Le Mans in two weeks, which is the home race of Tech 3 Racing. It is a huge weekend for Tech 3, so I will be doing my best to be closer to the front."

Xavier Simeon 13th 6 points:

"I'm a lot happier than yesterday and it was a good race. I made a good start and my rhythm improved a lot from practice and qualifying, so thanks to my Tech 3 Racing crew who worked hard to improve my feeling with the bike. Already in the Warm-up session I saw that we had improved quite a lot because I could ride consistently fast and I ended up ninth, so I was convinced that I could score some points. If I had qualified a bit higher up the grid then we could have done better, but I enjoyed the fight with Aegerter and Corti a lot. It was hard but always clean. We will try to improve our pace for the next race in Le Mans, which is such a big race for the Tech 3 Team and I will try to enjoy riding the Mistral 610 as much as I did today."

Herve Poncharal Team Manager:

"We are quite satisfied with the outcome of today's race because Bradley and Xavier weren't starting from an ideal position on the grid, but both made a really good start and gained a lot of places. Bradley was able to stay with the leading group for the first few laps and as usual he rode with typical grit and determination and never gave up. During the second part of the race he got stronger and without a small mistake in the final stages he might h ave been able to finish sixth. That was a little unfortunate but a top 10 is still a strong result. I have to say big compliments to Xavier because he rode a really great race. I think he learned a lot today because he was together with really fast riders like Aegerter and had some good battles and he never gave up and deserved to score some points. His confidence is growing and now we can head to our home race in Le Mans optimistic that both of them can be battling for top finishes."




More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Determined Dovizioso claims best Yamaha result in Estoril

Andrea Dovizioso secured his best Yamaha result so far in today's Estoril MotoGP round, the Italian leading home Cal Crutchlow to help the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team celebrate a third consecutive double top five finish in 2012.

For the third race in a row in the new 1000cc MotoGP World Championship category, fans were thrilled by an exciting inter-team duel between Dovizioso and Crutchlow for fourth position.

The pair were barely split by more than just a couple of tenths throughout the 28-lap race, with British rider Crutchlow holding the early advantage going in search of his third straight fourth place finish.

But it was Dovizioso who prevailed with a display full of determination and skill once he seized fourth place from Crutchlow with a clinical overtake at the first corner on lap five.

Crutchlow shadowed the former 125cc World Champion for the remainder of the race but despite exerting intense pressure, Dovizioso rode a faultless race to ensure he finished top non-factory rider to collect 13 valuable World Championship points.

Today's result means Crutchlow remains in fourth place in the overall rankings on 37-points, with Dovizioso just two-points further back in fifth. Dovizioso and Crutchlow's brilliant consistency also helped the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team strengthen its positi on in third place in the Team World Championship standings heading to the squad's vital home race in Le Mans on May 20.

Andrea Dovizioso 4th 35 points:

"I am very satisfied with my performance in today's race and particularly with the pace I could run because I was very fast and consistent throughout. It is a good way to end the weekend because a few small problems on Friday and Saturday meant we could not work as much as we would have liked to improve the bike. I am happy because the target this weekend was to reduce the gap to the fastest and we managed to achieve that. But the fact I could keep the speed for 28-laps that I was not able to find in practice is a very positive point. It is a good fourth place but there's no doubt starting from third on the grid hampered me at the beginning of the race because I couldn 't even try to stay with the leading group. Maybe it would have been closer or maybe we could have even been with Pedrosa, but we will never know. Now I am looking forward to racing in Le Mans because it is the home race of the Tech 3 Team and it is also a raced sponsored by Monster Energy, so everybody has a lot of motivation to do well."

Cal Crutchlow 5th 37 points:

"I'm pretty happy with fifth place but I would like to have been a bit closer to the top three like I was in Jerez. Fair play to Andrea because he rode a great race once he passed me early on and it didn't matter how much pressure I put on him, he never cracked. I certainly couldn't have done anything else to try and pass him but it is another top five finish and I am still fourth in the points. I had a couple of issues, which didn't help me. I knew rear grip was going to be an issue in the race and that's how it turned out. I'm not really sure why so we will have to have a close look at the data to understand this. Stopping the bike was also a bit of a problem and it felt like I was having to push a lot harder than the four in front of me to run the times. But it was a good race with Andrea and we have carried on the momentum from the first two races and now we can look forward to Le Mans. That's a massive weekend for Monster and Tech 3 Yamaha, so I'll be determined to be back fighting for the podium again."

Herve Poncharal Team Manager:

"That's three races now in 2012 that have been exciting but also nerve-wracking to watch as the manager of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. On one hand I want to see all the races like t his with Andrea and Cal battling inside the top five, but it is always tense when they are fighting so hard together. But credit to both of them because they delivered another fantastic double result for Tech 3 and today confirmed how strong our line-up is in 2012 and how competitive the Yamaha YZR-M1 package is. I'm really happy for Andrea because I think a few times this season he has been quite unlucky but he needed to be riding at his best to keep Cal at bay today. We knew that Cal was never going to give him a moment to relax but he dealt with that pressure extremely well. It was another great ride by Cal today and a measure of how far he has come to be battling again comfortably inside the top five. Clearly I think for the whole team it's very exciting to see us being so competitive. We are fighting at the front in every session and every race and keeping Yamaha and our sponsors happy, which is vitally important. Now we look forward to our home race in France where we will arrive higher in the Championship than we have ever been going to Le Mans. We are excited and hoping to perform for the French fans as we have in the first three races."




More, from a press release issued by Yamaha MotoGP Team:

Lorenzo Retains Unbroken Podium Record at Estoril

Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo continued his unbroken podium record at Estoril today. Starting from fourth on the grid he was quickly into second at the first corner and held the position to the line after a determined effort to stay with race leader Casey Stoner. The Mallorcan's legendary consistent lap pace meant Stoner was never more than one second ahead until the final lap and at times just 0.2 seconds in front. Lap three of the race saw Lorenzo deliver a new fastest lap record for Estoril of 1'36.909. He now heads to Le Mans in two weeks time just one point adrift of the Championship lead."

Team mate Ben Spies started well from fifth, slotting into fourth in the first corner before running wide and dropping back several places. The Texan made a couple of mistakes and dropped to ninth where he battled Stephan Bradl for eighth, eventually passing the German to take the position at the line. Spies will arrive in Le Mans in 11th position with 18 points.


Jorge Lorenzo Position : 2nd Time: +1.421

"I'm happy with this second position because I was expecting to fight for third or fourth and not the victory. The bike improved a lot from the practices so it was possible. I had two problems, at the start I used a lot of clutch and burnt it so for two or three laps it was burning and I lost a lot of distance from Casey. Also at the end Casey was very strong. After this everything was working well and I made a fastest lap, which is not very common for me. We are just one point behind Casey, hopefully we can improve something on the bike tomorrow and be in front again."


Ben Spies Position : 8th Time: +33.262

"Very mixed emotions today, this is actually the first time in three years that I've finished a race here. As I told the team, I made four or five big mistakes during the race, they cost me time and places. It was a rough race but I'm continuing to build my confidence, I don't enjoy Estoril so I'm happy to have finished. Now we go to Le Mans which is a great event with an amazing crowd but another track I don't love so much! I'm happy with the bike and it's performance so we'll continue to build my confidence and improve the results."


Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager

"A fantastic result after a very tough race weekend. Both Jorge and the bike got on very harmoniously in the race and he was able to push. We are only one point behind Casey and we're consistently finishing on the podium which is important. We'll test tomorrow to see what developments we can use to improve and see what happens in Le Mans in two weeks time."


Massimo Meregalli
Team Director

"Ben had some difficulties during the race, he made a few mistakes, I think the first one put a lot of pressure on him so he was trying to push harder and was unable to. The most important thing is he got back his feeling and was quite satisfied with the set up which gives us good confidence for the coming races. Tomorrow we will test some new items, let's hope they give us some good results. Jorge did a really great job and pushed really hard. He never gave Casey room to breathe and he couldn't do more than that. This is the right attitude to get the title."




More, from a press release issued by Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2:

ANOTHER DAY TO FORGET FOR REA

Gino Rea's early season woes continued today, his race brought to an early conclusion in Portugal by a mechanical problem that topped off another difficult weekend.

Gino Rea (DNF) "To be honest I am glad to get this weekend finished. It has been hard. The positive side is that we have shown some decent pace but the downside is that we have had a lot of technical problems. The bike cut out in practice, then we had the same problem again at the end of qualifying yesterday and now it's happened in the race. When your race finishes after three laps it is very frustrating but looking back at the weekend we made progress with the Showa suspension and now we have to look onwards and upwards."

Fausto Gresini "There is not much I can say about a race we would all rather forget. Tomorrow we will take a close look at this difficult situation and work out the best way to resolve it."




More, from a press release issued by Team Thai Honda Gresini Moto2:

BAD TIMES CONTINUE FOR WILAIROT

The Grand Prix of Portugal proved to be another race to forget for Ratthapark Wilairot, who struggled home in 23rd position after a disastrous weekend at Estoril.

Ratthapark Wilairot (23rd) "The start was not so good but I tried to push hard and stay with the group in front of me. Unfortunately we still have a lot of problems on the front and the rear and it is difficult to control the bike. I'm afraid to say that this is the best result we could do today."

Fausto Gresini "There is not much I can say about a race we would all rather forget. Tomorrow we will take a close look at this difficult situation and work out the best way to resolve it."




More, from a press release issued by Honda:

2012 FIM MotoGP/Moto2/Moto3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
ROUND 03, SUNDAY, MAY 6, ESTORIL, PORTUGAL

Weather: cool and dry
Temperature: Ambient 17 degrees C / Track 35 degrees C


STONER DOMINATES ESTORIL TO TAKE CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) moved into the
MotoGP World Championship lead with a brilliant
victory in today's Portuguese Grand Prix at
Estoril. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) also
rode a superb race to finish in third place, just 2.2s behind his team-mate.

Starting from pole position for the first time
this year, Stoner resisted relentless pressure
from Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) throughout the 28
laps to score his second MotoGP victory in eight
days. It was a thrilling encounter with Stoner
leading from the first corner of the first lap to
the chequered flag, but only just.

The reigning World Champion struggled with tyre
chatter in the early laps and had to back off a
little, which allowed Lorenzo to close right up
on him. The Australian dug deeper, experimenting
with different mapping settings and then
adjusting his riding technique to deny the
Spaniard a chance to attack. At the end he
crossed the finish line 1.421s ahead of his great
rival. This win was Stoner's 35th success in the
elite class and moved him into the series lead, a
single point ahead of Lorenzo.

Pedrosa led into the first corner, but
encountered some wheelspin on the exit, which had
him fighting for control and allowed both Stoner
and Lorenzo past. From there Pedrosa stay in
touch with the leaders, but he too had his
issues. He was not as fast as he would have liked
through the corners and he too suffered some
chatter, so he never quite got close enough to
challenge his compatriot for second place.
However, his third podium result from the first
three races of the year keeps him very much in
the title hunt. It was also Pedrosa's 100th
podium finish across the MotoGP, 250 and 125 classes.

Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V)
had another strong ride to sixth place, though he
was hoping for more. The Spaniard could not stop
or turn his bike as well as he wanted to and will
aim to fix those issues in tomorrow's tests here,
which will be attended by all the top teams.

Rookie Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V)
once again impressed the MotoGP paddock with a
ride that belied his lack of experience in the
premier class. The reigning Moto2 World Champion
enjoyed himself, starting from the fourth row to
chase Valentino Rossi (Ducati) during the early
stages and then settling into a lengthy duel with
former World Superbike Champion Ben Spies. The
pair swapped positions on several occasions, the
more experienced Spies eventually winning the
contest aboard his factory Yamaha, putting Bradl ninth at the finish.

Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda)
made something of a breakthrough at Estoril
today, scoring his first MotoGP points aboard his
Fireblade-powered CRT bike. The Italian was the
third CRT machine to get to the chequered flag, in 14th place.

Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter)
scored his second Moto2 victory of the season
following an intense race that climaxed with a
breathtaking final-lap encounter with Pol
Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex), winner of last weekend's Jerez round.

Marquez and Espargaro spent much of the race
following the impressive Thomas Luthi
(Interwetten-Paddock-Suter). This was all part of
Marquez's plan to let one of his rivals do the
hard work while he tried to preserve his rear
tyre for the all-important final few laps. With
seven laps to go the two Spaniards moved ahead of
the Swiss and the race became a straightforward duel.

Espargaro could match Marquez for outright speed
and decided to stay just behind his compatriot,
preparing himself for an all-out effort on the
last lap. The 20-year-old made his first attack
at turn one, passing Marquez on the inside, only
to run wide, allowing the series leader to retake
the lead. Turn four was exactly the same
Espargaro squeezed ahead through on the entry,
only to run wide again. Espargaro tried once
again at the very next turn, this time making
contact with his teenage rival. Again Marquez held on.

Undaunted, Espargaro tried once more at the
ultra-tight chicane, but lost control on the
brakes and ran wide, leaving Marquez a clear run
to the finish line. Espargaro's mistake nearly
lost him second place to Luthi at the flag, the pair separated by just 0.084s.

Moto2 rookie Johann Zarco (JIR Moto2 Motobi)
scored a brilliant fourth-place finish in only
his third race in the Honda-powered series. The
Frenchman ran with the leaders during the early
stages, eventually slipping back to finish just
ahead of former Moto2 race winner Andrea Iannone (Speed Master Speed Up).

Iannone finished well clear of a frantic four-way
skirmish for sixth between Alex De Angelis (NGM
Mobile Forward Racing Suter), former Moto2 Word
Champion Toni Elias (Mapfre Aspar Team Suter),
Julian Simon (Blusens Avintia Suter) and Mika
Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex). Positions
changed constantly as the group fought their way
round this complex racetrack. At the chequered
flag De Angelis beat Elias by less than two tenths.

Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia FTR Honda)
came within 0.055s of scoring his second Moto3
victory of the year at Estoril today. The
Spaniard was thwarted in his efforts by Sandro
Cortese (KTM), the pair spending the entire race
jostling back and forth at the front of the pack.
Vinales had the speed through the corners while
Cortese enjoyed the advantage on the Portuguese
track's long main straight. On the final lap
Cortese retook the lead on the straight and
Vinales was unable to find a way past the German
as they sped towards the finish line.

Efren Vazquez (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse FTR Honda)
was Honda's next best finisher, taking fifth
place after a long battle with fellow Honda rider
Niccolo Antonelli (San Carlo Gresini FTR
Honda). Honda's other top-ten finishers were Alex
Rins (Estrella Galicia 0.0 Suter Honda), Alexis
Masbou (Caretta Technology Honda) and Jakub
Kornfeil (Thomas Sabo GP Team Honda) who finished seventh, ninth and tenth.

Last weekend's runaway Jerez winner Romano Fenati
(Team Italian FMI FTR- Honda) did not finish
the race. The sensational teenage rookie was
contesting fifth place when he was hit by another
rider coming back onto the track after an
off-track excursion. He was not hurt in the
incident. Local favourite Miguel Oliveira
(Estrella Galicia 0.0 Suter Honda) had a home
Grand Prix to forget, withdrawing in the early
stages after starting the race from the front row of the grid.

After two events on consecutive weekends the
MotoGP circus now takes a week break before
returning for the French Grand Prix at Le Mans on May 20.


MotoGP rider quotes


Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: race winner
"In the end it was another fantastic weekend for
us. This morning we were more confident but also
a little concerned because yesterday afternoon
when we had a very similar setting to what we had
in FP3 the bike was a bit worse in the warm
conditions. In warm-up we didn't have a big
problem with chatter, but in the race, in warmer
conditions, we struggled a lot more. This was
very difficult to ride with. In the first part of
the race I was confident and attacking the track,
but I almost lost the front twice due to the
chatter. From this point I backed off a little,
tried to stay smooth and just wanted to stay in
front of Jorge and Dani, but Jorge was coming
strong. I had to try and keep my pace and not
make too many mistakes, so I was changing the
mapping to try and reduce the chatter problem.
Towards the end of the race I began to understand
how to ride around it, this made things smoother
and I found some more pace and was able to bring it home for a great race win."

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd
"It was a really tough race from the beginning.
The pace was very, very high from the first lap
to the final one. Casey rode a good race,
unbelievably strong. I had a big shake in the
first braking area, Casey and Jorge overtook me
and I lost 1.5 seconds on the first lap. During
the race I had some issues in the middle of the
corner, I was not fast with corner speed. Each
lap I tried to get a little better, to try and
modify my riding style, the mapping and my
braking points. I tried everything. I managed to
match their lap times, but I couldn't close the
gap. Three races on the podium is very good
overall, but in three races we missed something,
so let's try it again in the next one. To reach
my 100th podium is amazing and shows how fast the
time goes. I'm very happy for that and I want to
thank all my teams and sponsors during this time
and especially Honda because I've been with them for my whole career".

Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 6th
"It was a tough race. After practice I thought I
had the pace to fight for fourth place, but I
didn't have a good feeling from the front so I
was struggling to turn the bike. It cost me a few
valuable tenths that made me lose touch with
Dovizioso and Crutchlow. Now we will have a close
look at the data and try to understand why this
happened, as well as working on our weak point,
which is braking. Sixth place isn't a bad result
but we should have been much closer to the two
Tech3 bikes. We have a test tomorrow and that will be very useful to us."

Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 9th
"Well... this has been a very hard weekend for us
in general. We have struggled a lot with rear
grip immediately on Friday morning but Saturday
we have found some good adjustments.
Unfortunately for the all race we had some issues
going into the corners. My start was okay and I
could make some good manoeuvres in the beginning
but then I was a bit on the limit and in the
middle of the race I was losing too much in the
corners entries which was always our problem this
weekend. Especially in the fast corners I needed
to wait to open the throttle and this cost us a
lot of time. We have never had this problem
before and Spies had a better pace than us during
the race, but in the end I can say this was another good weekend."

Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 14th
"With eight laps to go I could see on the big
screen that Stoner was starting to lap people so
I pushed extra hard to the end because I would
have been really disappointed to get lapped. I'm
happy we made it to the end and I picked up my
first points of the season. Today I just tried to
stay upright and make the most of what we had
underneath us and hopefully in the future we can
hope for more than that. I want to thank the team
for their hard work here; hopefully we can have
some new stuff to work with at Le Mans."


Moto2 rider quotes

Marc Marquez, Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter: race winner
"That was like a 125 race really difficult,
especially at the end. Early in the race I was
trying to save the rear tyre, but even though I
did that the grip still wasn't so great at the
end. Step by step I got my confidence, just as I
did in practice and qualifying, and I felt very
comfortable on the bike. When I got into the lead
I tried to push really hard and make a gap but I
couldn't manage it. On the last lap I tried to
close the door on Pol and give 100 per cent. It
was a great race and I think we are going to enjoy this win."

Pol Espargaro, Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex: 2nd
"The race was fun; I was a bit nervous at the end
but it was a lot of fun! It was great to fight
with Marc like we were on 125s. I tried
everything I could on the last lap, but when I
tried to pass Marc at the chicane he had the best
line so I could not make it past and I ran a bit
wide, so that was my chance gone. Anyway, I am
happy because we have had three races and three
podiums, including my win at Jerez last weekend.
We are working for the championship, not for the
races, so I think things are going okay. My
thanks to the team and everyone around me."

Thomas Luthi, Interwetten Paddock-Suter: 3rd
"I had a good pace at the start of the race but I
always knew the boys were right behind me. So I
knew it was going to be really hard, especially
because in the beginning I was riding so hard
that I wasn't saving my rear tyre for the end of
the race. When they both came past me I tried to
push hard to stay with them but it just wasn't
possible. Anyway, I tried my best and we got third place so I am quite happy."


Moto3 Rider Quotes

Maverick Vinales, Blusens Avintia FTR Honda: 2nd
"I tried everything I could and we had a very
strong race, but in the end we couldn't quite get
the win. The last lap was amazing, but I don't
think that Cortese was polite, he gave me no
room. But I won't worry about that, all I'm
thinking about now is the next race and how we
can make the bike better and take another win.

Efren Vazquez (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse FTR Honda): 5th
"I enjoyed my race with Antonelli we were very
close for a lot of laps and it was fun. But the
main thing is that we got some points and some
good points after taking nothing from the first
races. This shows that the team and I are moving
forward in a good way. I think we can look
forward to the rest of the season thinking that
we can be strong at the next races."

Niccolo Antonelli (San Carlo Gresini FTR Honda): 6th
"Of course I am happy with today's result. This
was my third race in the World Championship and I
have taken my second points and also made my best
result. It was a tough race, fighting with
Vazquez who has much more experience of this
track than I do. In the end I couldn't quite beat
him, but we learned a lot this weekend and I
can't wait for the next race at Le Mans."




More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:

De Angelis smiles at Estoril while Takahashiis out of luck

Good news for Alex De Angelis and the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team at the Estoril circuit in Portugal. After yesterday's crash during qualifying, the rider from San Marino started today's race from the ninth place on the starting grid and was able to reach the sixth place proving that he has finally found the feeling with his Suter bike.
Unfortunate race on the other hand for Yuki Takahashi, who crashed only four laps into the race while he was trying to gain positions. The important modifications made to the number 72´s Suter do not completely satisfy the rider, who will seek to make up at Le Mans in less than two weeks.

Alex de Angelis 6º
"Very positive race, my best result so far this season with the team. The start was a bit complicated; starting from the back rows did not help me at all and prevented me from getting in a good pace. In the end I felt good in relation to the other riders and decided to fight and in the last few laps I made series of overtakes to get in front of the second group. We leave this weekend with this sixth position that lift the spirits of the team, mechanics and sponsors put this does not stop here, we want to continue to work in order to get further up the grid, where I think I can be fighting.
I have accepted the team's offer to test on Colin's CRT tomorrow since he was injured after yesterdays crash and will not be able to ride at the test. I know the team has many things to test and its with great honor that I have accepted the proposal because I think I can be useful, even if I my lap times will not anywhere close to Colin's I still hope I can contribute to the development of the bike because I really think the team disserves it."

Yuki Takahashi NQ
The race start was good. On the second lap I checked my laps time and it was very good. I pushed a little bit and same problem I was having yesterday and crashed. The team is working really well and we have made progress this weekend. I hope that in the next few races we will continue to push and hopefully be able to get better results.

Pietro Caprara Moto2 Technical Manager
"Yuki has a very fast beginning of race, too fast even. After comparing the data specially in turn 3 and 4 he was faster than Alex at the beginning of the race. He was probably being too fast and that caused him to crash. Once again Yuki´s result does not do justice to his real potential. We are struggling but working really hard to get the best performance from him and to setup the bike for his riding style. We hope in Le Mans to have more luck since he has performed really well back when he was in 250cc.

For Alex this was a good race, at the beginning he took a few laps to fight with the riders he had just in front of him which increased the gap with the first group and this because even if the start is good because the gap increased lap by lap. We are happy with the setting we have found now since we have been struggling all winter to find the feeling with the front and now we are in a good position, we have data and enough information to make him be in a better position. He was constant and was able to fight with riders like Julian Simon and Toni Elias, we are very happy "

Giovanni Cuzari Team Owner/CEO
"We are very happy with Alex's race result. He is constantly improving and this means that he is acquiring feeling with the bike. It is a pity Yuki crashed today after such a good start, he had a good pace but unfortunately he lost the feeling on the front at a very fast turn. We relieve he is progressing in the right direction and that in the upcoming race he will be able to prove this constant development."




More, from a press release issued by KTM:

Victory for KTM's Cortese in Moto3 at Estoril
Red Bull KTM Ajo factory racer Sandro Cortese won a hard fought Moto3 race in the GP of Portugal in Estoril in a thrilling two-way battle with Maverick Vinales of Spain in the last half of the race.

Cortese of Germany now leads the championship by just two points after taking two second places in Qatar and Jerez in the two earlier rounds. Luis Salom of Spain riding the Kalex-KTM bike was third, depriving Zulfahmi Khairuddin of Malaysia of the first podium place for his country in the final corners. It was a great race for the KTM and KTM-driven bikes and especially for KTM's construction team from the company headquarters in Mattighofen, Austria. The company brought them to the race as a reward for the hard work they had put in perfecting the bike.

"I had an unbelievable bike," Cortese said. "It was so fast today. I felt so good all weekend. Everything was perfect and I enjoyed every lap. Vinales had such a good rhythm I just tried to stick behind him and then in the final lap I tried not to let him get the slipstream and when he went a bit wide I held the line and got past him."

Cortese was on pole and Spain's Vinales was with him on the front line of the grid and the two riders never left any doubt that they were both in it to win it. They started to put substantial distance between them and the rest of the pack by midway through the race and finished almost 11 seconds ahead of Salom at the checkered flag. The battle between the two leaders intensified in the closing laps and a cat and mouse ensued right up to the last corners.

Behind them the fight for third was also intense and it was only at the closing stages that Salom of Spain was able to make his pass stick on the talented young Malaysia rider Zulfahmi. Behind them, Danny Kent of Britain was next fastest KTM rider in eighth, who had been unfortunate to slip down the order after a mid race incident. South African Brad Binder, Salom's RW Racing GP teammate was eleventh on the Kalex-KTM, followed by Hector Faubel (Kalex-KTM) and Australian Arthur Sissis riding the KTM machine. Alberto Moncayo, Faubel's Aspar teammate on the Kalex-KTM finished fourteenth and Spain's Joan Olive, riding for Niklas Ajo of TT Motions Event Racing on the KTM Moto3 bike was sixteenth. Ajo picked up a one-race ban after an incident with a marshal in Jerez.

Pit Beirer, KTM's Head of Motorsports was at the race and amid jubilant team celebrations said he was happy to have his construction team with him at the event. "It was great that they were here to see the win and to enjoy the experience together with the teams and riders," he said. "We put a huge amount of pressure on ourselves in the past weeks. We could see in the opening rounds that we needed to do something to close the gap and find some more speed. In the end it was only some small changes, some small steps with the response and other things but it made the difference. Sandro was the fastest throughout the weekend. He felt great on the bike and we can't ask for anything more than that."

After three rounds KTM is currently second behind Honda in the Manufacturer's Standings, training by 13 points. Kalex is in third place.

The next Moto3 race is in Le Mans, France on May 20.