Lorenzo scores first win at Estoril
|By Michele Lostia||Sunday, April 13th 2008, 12:51 GMT|
Rookie sensation Jorge Lorenzo has taken his maiden MotoGP victory in his third ever race in the series, the Portuguese Grand Prix.
The Fiat Yamaha rider, who also set a record three consecutive pole positions since his debut, stormed to victory after taking the lead on lap 13 of the 28-lap race, when he first overtook arch-rival Dani Pedrosa for second and then Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi, who had been leading since lap three.
Pedrosa made a late charge for the lead with his Repsol Honda, but ultimately finished second, 1.8 seconds behind his Spanish compatriot. The two are now jointly leading the championship.
After losing the lead, Rossi was overtaken by Pedrosa on lap 15 and managed to stay with the leading duo for some three more laps, before starting to lose ground with a gap from Pedrosa that widened to eleven seconds by the end of the race.
Fourth place looked like going to JiR Team Scot Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso, who ran with the top three until lap 16, when he crashed out of the race. That position was inherited by Repsol Honda's Nicky Hayden, but he, too, crashed a lap later.
Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards thus took fourth, followed by the Kawasaki of John Hopkins and the Ducati Marlboro of Casey Stoner in sixth.
The reigning world champion dropped out of the top ten by lap nine, yet managed to claw back positions in the space of the following 12 laps by overtaking rivals James Toseland, seventh on Tech 3 Yamaha, Chris Vermeulen, eighth on Rizla Suzuki, and Randy de Puniet, 15th after crashing his LCR Honda on the penultimate lap.
Ninth place went to Suzuki's Loris Capirossi, with Shinya Nakano rounding up the top ten with his Honda Gresini.
The track remained dry throughout the race despite a few drops of rain causing the stewards to show the white flag to the riders on lap three, signalling they could pit to change bikes with wet set-ups.
Pos Rider Bike Time 1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha (M) 45:53.089 2. Dani Pedrosa Honda (M) + 1.817 3. Valentino Rossi Yamaha (B) + 12.723 4. Colin Edwards Yamaha (M) + 17.223 5. John Hopkins Kawasaki (B) + 23.752 6. Casey Stoner Ducati (B) + 26.688 7. James Toseland Yamaha (M) + 32.631 8. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki (B) + 36.382 9. Loris Capirossi Suzuki (B) + 38.268 10. Shinya Nakano Honda (B) + 39.476 11. Alex de Angelis Honda (B) +1:01.306 12. Toni Elias Ducati (B) +1:03.867 13. Marco Melandri Ducati (B) +1:09.525 14. Sylvain Guintoli Ducati (B) +1:09.634 15. Randy de Puniet Honda (M) +1:11.542 16. Anthony West Kawasaki (B) +1:23.629 Retirements: Rider Bike Laps Nicky Hayden Honda (M) 16 Andrea Dovizioso Honda (M) 15