Sebastián Porto finally achieved his first victory of the season at the Italian raceway of Mugello where the 250cc Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MOTOGP) disputed its fourth round. Dani Pedrosa, leader in the standings, and current champion Manuel Poggiali completed the top three places.
Porto arrived to Mugello knowing very well the magnitude of a possible victory in this land that is Aprilia`s home in the World Championship.
The confidence of the Argentinian was clear since the very beginning of the activity in the track. He dominated the practice session and later the qualifying of Friday.
Friday`s time gave Porto his fourth pole position in the 250cc. and the second of the year, followed by the strong rivals of always, such as Pedrosa, Randy de Puniet and Toni Elías in the front row.
The driver of the Repsol - Aspar team showed a determined strategy of not pushing too much his Aprilia in the first part of the race, following the struggle between Pedrosa and French De Puniet.
On lap seven Porto took the lead for the first time but only until his Aprilia teammate De Puniet jumped to the first place again.
The changes between the three leaders were a constant of the race, but it was on lap 16th. when the Argentinian decided start to push hard from third position leaving behind, almost in the same moment, both Pedrosa and De Puniet.
Porto knew it was time to make a difference and quickly the Aprilia drivers left the Honda card in the back, and the victory was a matter between the Frenchman and the Argentinian.
Despite De Puniet tried everything to get closer, it was impossible for him to catch Porto, who was running in a control limit with the Aprilia. Sebastian wanted to decide the race before the final turn, and so he did.
The final sprint was a clear example that Porto managed the race with a strategy that finally paid-off pushing in the right moment and taking a deserved victory back to Argentina.
De Puniet`s mechanics problems in the last lap gave Pedrosa the chance to take second place and more points in the championship, while Poggiali appear in the podium for the first time after a very complicated season start for the champion.
"I`m very happy because today was better than what I expected. I knew it would be a difficult race, but the bike responded very well. We worked hard all the weekend to achieve our target that was the victory", commented Sebastián.
Another problem during the race for Porto was the consequence of Saturday`s accident. "Yesterday I had a lot of pain in my ribs due to the strong fall I suffered, but thanks to the doctors work it was much easier", explained the winner.
About the feelings of taking the victory at Aprilia`s home, Porto mentioned: "I knew the first place was right there, and the good thing is that came in the right moment, here in Mugello with all the Aprilia people, is very important for us".
This second victory in 250cc. (the other was on 2002 at Brazil with Yamaha) is the result the Argentinian needed to be in the fight for the World Championship.
The champion illusion is present in Porto`s mind. "I really wanted to be at the highest of a podium again. Now is the moment because I have a good bike to stay in the front. I`m in focus to fight for the championship, we must recovered points and we are in the good road", said a hopeful Porto.
Mugello`s result put Porto third in the standings with 50 points, where De Puniet continues as leader with 73 near followed by Pedrosa with 70.
The Continental Circus will now move to Barcelona, Spain on next June 13th. Porto will be ready to shine on.