ESTORIL (SUPERSPORT) – Australian world champion Casey Stoner won the Portuguese MotoGP in Estoril on Sunday for his second successive victory this season, giving him a one point lead in the title race.
The 26-year-old Honda rider – whose win here was his first in the race and means he has won every single Grand Prix – beat Spain’s 2010 world champion Jorge Lorenzo on a Yamaha.
Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa became only the seventh rider to celebrate 100 podium finishes as he came third.
Pedrosa got the better start but was quickly passed by both Stoner and Lorenzo while Cal Crutchlow lost two spots and Valentino Rossi, who had qualified in his highest position on Saturday, gained two places from ninth to seventh.
Ben Spies once again disappointed as he lost places after a good qualifying where he finished fifth fastest on his Yamaha but the laid back American – who listened to the band Metallica while waiting on the grid – dropped to ninth after a quarter of the race had been run.
The pressure will only increase on Spies as he has been given a target of winning two races this term and was eventually only to finish eighth just behind Rossi, who recorded his best finish of the season on his Ducati.
Up ahead though Stoner, Lorenzo and Pedrosa opened up a sizeable gap over the remainder of the field as they fought out the podium places with 20 laps remaining.
Behind them some six seconds back Andrea Dovizioso and Crutchlow were having their own duel for fourth and fifth while Rossi consolidated his seventh spot.
With 10 laps to go Stoner and Lorenzo looked to have the race to themselves as Pedrosa dropped off slightly and further behind the field was whittled down with just 16 remaining of the original 20-man field.
Stoner repelled everything that Lorenzo tried to throw at him and going into the final lap held a comfortable lead of just over a second and never looked like relinquishing that advantage.
1. Casey Stoner (Australia) Honda 45:37.513
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 45:38.934
3. Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 45:41.134
4. Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Yamaha 45:51.359
5. Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Yamaha 45:54.203
6. Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda 45:59.397
7. Valentino Rossi (Italy) Ducati 46:04.310
8. Ben Spies (U.S.) Yamaha 46:10.775
9. Stefan Bradl (Germany) Honda 46:13.380
10. Hector Barbera (Spain) Ducati 46:30.876
11. Nicky Hayden (U.S.) Ducati 46:40.143
12. Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Aprilia 46:58.249
13. Randy de Puniet (France) Aprilia 47:00.996
14. Michele Pirro (Italy) Honda 47:15.418
15. Danilo Petrucci (Italy) Ioda 1 Lap