Repsol Honda Team
Victory for Stoner and 100th podium for Pedrosa
Today at the Grand Prix of Portugal, Casey Stoner took his second successive victory of the season with teammate Dani Pedrosa again joining him on the podium in third position.
Today Casey today took his 42nd win in all classes in Grand Prix racing equalling the record of Max Biaggi and Tony Mang. After his win in Estoril today, Casey has now won at every circuit on the current GP calendar. This podium has also been very special for Dani because with this third place finish, he joins an elite club of only six riders with 100 career podiums to their name.
The Australian rider attacked hard from the beginning, setting a first lap of 1'42.369 which put a one second gap between him and Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. The current World Champion led every lap of the 28-lap race and maintained a high pace for the duration with Jorge and Dani also riding consistently in the 1'37's.
Casey also took the lead in the World Championship standings with 66 points, followed by Lorenzo with 65 and Dani in third with 52 points.
"In the end it was another fantastic weekend for us. This morning we were more confident but also a little concerned because yesterday afternoon when we had a very similar setting to FP3 the bike was a little bit worse in the warm conditions. In warm up we didn't have a big problem with chatter but then for the race, under the warmer conditions, we struggled a lot more. This was very difficult to ride with, in the first part of the race I was confident and attacking the track but I closed the front twice due to the chatter. From this point I backed of a little, tried to stay smooth and just wanted to stay in front of Jorge and Dani, but Jorge was coming strong. I had to try and keep my pace and not make too many mistakes, I was changing t he mapping to try and reduce the chatter problem. Towards the end of the race I began to understand how to ride around it, this made things smoother and I found some more pace and was able to bring it home for a great race win."
"It's been a really tough race from the beginning, the pace was very very high from the first lap to the final one. Casey did a good race, unbelievably strong. I had a big shake in the first braking area, Casey and Jorge overtook me and I lost 1.5 seconds on the first lap. During the race I had some issues in the middle of the corner, I was not fast with corner speed; each lap I tried to get a little better, to try and modify my riding style, the mapping, braking later, I tried everything, I managed to match the lap times but not to close the gap. Three races on the podium is very good overall, but in three races we missed something, so let's try it again in the next one."