- Yamaha's Lorenzo stays on top in points
- Reigning champion places 2nd
- A tool ends Spies race early
Lorenzo Retains Championship Lead with Estoril Podium
Second is a good result, we have a lot of points from three races.
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo extended his unbroken run of podium finishes today in Portugal for the third round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship. Having taken his fourth consecutive Estoril pole position start in yesterday’s qualifying heat, the reigning World Champion retained the lead from the off. Lorenzo completed a perfect 25 lap run in the lead before relinquishing to Pedrosa just three laps from the end, crossing the line in second place to take valuable championship points.
Lorenzo’s team mate Ben Spies was again denied the opportunity to complete the MotoGP race in Estoril. A tool used to temporarily block the fuel overflow pipe on grid was accidentally left in place for the race start, compromising the Texan’s ability to ride competitively. The tool’s location adjacent to the front brake lever made it impossible for him to brake effectively, ultimately affecting his concentration which resulted in a crash with fifteen laps remaining of the race.
The team will remain at Estoril tomorrow for an official MotoGP test session before heading to Le Mans in two weeks time for round four. Following today’s race Lorenzo adds another 20 points to his championship tally, giving him a total of 65 at the top of the table. Spies remains on ten points and sits in 14th position.
Position 2nd - Time +3.051
“I made a good start and I’m really happy for that then I pushed to my maximum to try to open the gap to Dani. Unfortunately today was not the day for that, he was too strong and consistent and at the end he was maybe fresher to push. Second is a good result, we have a lot of points from three races so I think we are in a good way to keep fighting for the championship. I want to thank my team who worked really hard this weekend to make sure we were as competitive as we could be.”
“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 set up and I was feeling good. When I noticed the tool hadn’t been removed I tried to do it myself because it was right in there next to my brake lever. I managed to get it off but then this loose tube was flying around which was pretty scary. It really messed with my concentration as I was worried about taking out another rider in one of the corners and then I crashed. After the DNF at Jerez this was really frustrating as it was completely out of my control, nothing to it now but to move on and come back strong for Le Mans.”
Ben has again been unlucky at Estoril. It is unfortunate that sometimes these human errors occur in racing at all levels.
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“A second place here at Estoril is very good, of course we would like to have won but it didn’t happen. Jorge led for 25 laps but Dani held on and had a little bit extra in his pocket at the end. He looked very stable and clean when he passed so Jorge was smart to settle for second. We gained a bit in split one and lost a bit in split four from qualifying, you win some, you lose some. Second place is ok and we’re still leading the championship. We’re going for podiums and if we can win then we’ll try, today we couldn’t.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director “Lorenzo took a lot of important points for the championship today. He led for most of the race riding impeccably. When he understood it was difficult to retain the lead he showed his maturity as a racer to secure second place. Ben has again been unlucky at Estoril. It is unfortunate that sometimes these human errors occur in racing at all levels. Fortunately he was uninjured and was able to avoid involving any other riders in the incident. Our focus is now on the test tomorrow and Le Mans in two weeks time.”