Sebastian Porto couldn`t complete a good result at the Pacific Grand Prix, thirteenth round of the 250cc Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MOTOGP) disputed at the Japanesse circuit of Motegi. The factory Honda driver lost control of his bike five laps before the end when he was looking a place in the top-three.
All the weekend was a clear domimiun of Toni Elias. The Spanish took the pole position and despite Porto, started fourth, enjoyed the leadership for a while in the start Elias re-took the first position and never left it during the 23 laps of competition.
¨Today I made a good start and I gave the maxium in the firsts laps. I always tied to push in those moments because the new tires allow me to make a difference¨, explained the Argentinian.
The argued for the second position became the most interesting of the race, while Elias was alone in the command of the field.
With five laps completed the race was split with Elias leading, Porto and Roberto Rolfo fighting for second and Randy de Puniet struggling with Manuel Poggiali for fourth position. When Poggiali passed the French, he started to close the gap against the factory Honda drivers. In the other hand De Puniet started to loose perfonmance in his Aprilia.
By halfway through, Porto`s rear tire was complicating him and in lap 12 Rolfo and Poggiali passed the Argentinian.
¨Until the first half of the race I raced good, but then the wear tire allowed my rivals to get closer. Poggiali and Rolfo overtook me, and from beyond the race was to hard. Their bikes accelereted much more, so I gave the best in every break moment to continue with them¨, Sebastian commented.
From there on, Rolfo and Poggiali continued with their own fight for the championship and Porto trying not to loose contact. Elias? Toni always leading.
Lap 18 was the crucial moment for the Argentinian. Porto marked his best lap, a clear sample he was searching the podium, however in the follow turn to the longest straight of the track his bike did a crazy move that left Sebastian without any chance in the floor of the Twin Ring.
¨I reached them, but entering to the turn, maybe for the characteristics of the engine, the bike did something wrong and I fell. Luckly, I only have a knock in the ankle and I have a week to get better¨, mentioned Porto, and he added: ¨It`s a pity I could be ahead, but now we must wait to the next race¨, completed the Telefonica Movistar jr. team driver.
In the last part of the competition, the second finisher was a question mark. Rolfo and Poggiali tried everything for the second step in the podium that finally was for the Italian of Honda.
Toni Elias won with the Aprilia for the fourth time this year. After he fell in the last lap at Brazil fighting the victory, the Spanish knew he must take the victory here to continue in the championship dispute.
When it rest three races for the season close, Poggiali leads the standings with 206 points. Rolfo is second with 188 and Elias continues third now 30 units less the leader. Porto is eighth with 109.
Next weekend the Wolrd Championship will move to Sepang, Malaysia for a new competition in the moments of definition of the 2003 season.