The "Circuit de Catalunya", placed near Barcelona, was the perfect scenery for Randy de Puniet to take his first victory of 2004 season in the 250cc Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MOTOGP). Both Spanish and Honda drivers, Dani Pedrosa and Toni Elias completed the podium.
The fight for the leadership was a clear matter between De Puniet and Pedrosa. Both dominated the competition and gave to the over 100.000 people present at the Montmelo circuit the chance to enjoy a fantastic race.
From his start in the pole position, De Puiniet quickly pushed trying to leave Pedrosa behind. However the Honda men drove using all his heart in a head to head battle since the green lights appeared.
Elias, with another factory Honda, jumped from fifth to third in the start but was enable to dispute the race to the leaders.
De Puniet could never build a gap over Pedrosa. Despite the better engine of the Aprilia, the Honda proved again to have a great chassis balance fighting at every turn trying to catch first place.
Pedrosa's time in the lead wasn't enough to calm the French, who proved all the weekend that a victory was the only good result for him at Spain.
The last lap was an amazing summary of what happened on the previous 22, with the Aprilia and the Honda in a close fight, bike to bike, and thousands of souls supporting the young Spaniard 125cc World Champion to take the victory.
It was clear that Pedrosa left everything in the track to achieve the first place, but De Puniet took revenge from the first GP of this season, at South Africa, when Pedrosa won in the last turn of the last lap.
Today it was all De Puniet, and the French celebrated a deserved result in front of the Aprilia that added it second victory of the year after Sebastian Porto's at Mugello last week.
"It's been a difficult race becasue Dani is such a quick and solid driver. I tried to get away from him in the first part of the race, but I couldn't. I knew the last lap was the moment and finally I could keep Pedrosa behind. This is a fantastic victory for me and the team, a good reward after the job done in the beginning of the season", commented the winner.
Despite he wasn't able to win in front his people, Pedrosa left explained: "I'm happy because it was a hard race. I gave everything to win but I couldn't. At the end I suffered tires problems. De Puniet beat me in the last break, however it is a good result for me".
The other Spanish men on the podium, Toni Elias, was more than happy with his second top three classification of the season. "I gave 120% but it was impossible to follow Pedrosa and De Puniet. We are improving race by race and I hope the next time they will be after us", mentioned a hopeful Elias.
Sebastian Porto, last winner at Mugello, finished the weekend with a fourth place driving the Aprilia of the Repsol - Aspar team. The Argentinian continue adding points thinking in the World Championship.
Porto, who iniciated the race third, lost until seventh place in the beginning. From that moment the Argentinian pushed hard to recover positions with a not well balance bike.
"Today the set up wasn't the right for the race. During the weekend we were far away of achieve a good balance", said Porto.
"I spoke with the team. I have all their support and we'll find a solution to the problems of the Aprilia. At South Africa and Mugello the bike was good al the weekend, but in the other races we didn't have the regularity. Tomorrow we'll stay testing", explained Porto after the race.
This first victory of the season and the fourth in his career allows De Puniet to continue leading the Championship with 98 points, followed by Pedrosa with 90. Argentinian Porto is third with 63, while Fonsi Nieto with 56 and Toni Elias with 54 complete top five places. The Current Champion, Manuel Poggiali is now 11th. after another not-finish at Montmelo.
The Continental Circus action will continue at Assen with the Dutch Grand Prix on June 26th.