2011 Estoril MotoGP Race Result: Tight Duel For Win Decided With Four Laps To Go

Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Estoril:

Dani Pedrosa has won the 2011 Portuguese MotoGP Grand Prix, seizing the lead in the final laps from Jorge Lorenzo, and preventing the Yamaha man from taking his forth victory in a row.

It was Lorenzo who grabbed the lead going into turn 1, holding off Pedrosa from pole, and taking charge of the race from the off. Behind the Spanish pairing, chaos ensued, with Marco Simoncelli and Casey Stoner nearly colliding in the first corner, Hector Barbera crashing a couple of corners later, and then Simoncelli hitting the dirt in turn 4. As the riders crossed the finish line for the first time, it was Lorenzo leading Pedrosa, with a tiny gap to Stoner, while Valentino Rossi had moved Andrea Dovizioso aside to follow in 4th.

That situation remained more or less stable for most of the race, with Lorenzo leading, but unable to shake the pesky Pedrosa from his tail, while Stoner was a couple of tenths off the pace of the leaders, and unable to make up the gap to join them. A tweaked muscle in his back later in the race saw the gap grow considerably, the victory now down to the two Spaniards at the front.

Lorenzo appeared to have the situation fully under control, holding off Pedrosa every lap as he tried to outbrake the Yamaha into Turn 1. That tactic was successful for 24 laps, but on the 25th, Pedrosa finally got past. Once he had taken the lead, Pedrosa left Lorenzo for dead, taking both a moral and a physical victory, winning the race but also proving to himself that his shoulder surgery had been a success. Lorenzo ended 2nd, with no way of stopping Pedrosa, and Stoner took 3rd a way behind the two Spaniards.

Valentino Rossi looked like clinching 4th, an outstanding result from the perspective of the Ducati's development, but the Italian had Andrea Dovizioso behind him. The Repsol Honda rider looked unable to attack Rossi, until the very last meters of the race. Dovizioso got better drive out of the final corner, and went on to snatch 4th ahead of Rossi less than a hundred meters from the finish line. Colin Edwards finished a lonely 6th, while Hiroshi Aoyama and Cal Crutchlow fought it out for 7th, the Japanese rider coming out on top.


Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 45'51.483  
2 1 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 45'54.534 3.051
3 27 Casey STONER HONDA 45'59.141 7.658
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 46'08.013 16.530
5 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 46'08.038 16.555
6 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 46'24.058 32.575
7 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 46'30.232 38.749
8 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 46'32.395 40.912
9 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 46'46.370 54.887
10 14 Randy DE PUNIET DUCATI 46'51.180 59.697
11 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 46'51.857 1'00.374
12 65 Loris CAPIROSSI DUCATI 46'53.276 1'01.793
13 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 47'15.853 1'24.370
Not Classified
  11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 20'06.256 16 laps
  17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 1'50.239 27 laps
Not finished first lap
  8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI    


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for sparing us the ridiculous Astronaut pantomime.

The Spaniards were magnificent today. Neither putting a foot wrong. Frankly there didn't appear to be much machine difference either. Pedrosa just eking out a couple of tenths in the final laps. Lorenzo's M1 seemed to be kicking off the corners well - so much for a lack of acceleration. It's all relative though I suppose.

Fantastic that Pedrosa's shoulder held out all race too. He's certainly a hard young man.

Stoner the fastest man on the planet? Today put that myth to bed I believe. Pedrosa knows his RCV and this set-up advantage he has over Stoner just might well prove to be his edge over the course of the season. What is certain though is this championship is well on and will be hard fought all the way by the three young chargers on the podium today with wins aplenty for all.

I had exactly the same thought about the astronaut :)

As for Rossi, I am having a hard time finding out what is left of the Duke if it doesn't hold a horsepower advantage anymore. Then it is just a plain inferior bike, isn't it. Was it due in some way to the electronics developed a few days ago ?
Poor Vale. Hope Monday goes well. He looked much happier back to the pits than on his way to the race though.

... in his back happened when he nearly pitched himself off after Turn 1?  Or was it from earlier in the weekend?  Or too much time off?  ;-)

But with a very good result for the season.

After all doubts, Pedrosa blew it wide open and jumped back in the title hunt. And he also reasserted himself inside the HRC garage.

Too bad Simoncelli was too hot for his own good.

5th for Rossi isn't really good, I wonder when they'll simply put all their strength behind the GP12.

Very smart race from Pedrosa. His racecraft highlighted that Lorenzo's strength is actually his weakness. Lorenzo can churn out the consistent lap times lap after lap and see who can stay with him. But he was beaten yet again today by a rider who can go faster at the end of the race. If a rider can stay with him and save his tires, they know they have a chance against him.
I'm a Rossi fan, so I could be biased here, but Dovisioso pulled off yet another cheap result today. He's one of those riders who can't lead, can't get a good result on his own (remember Criville following/passing Doohan the same way? Used to infuriate Doohan). He got the result fair and square, cant argue with that, but the guy just can't do it on his own, can only follow and let the other rider drag him around, and he proved it yet again today.
In my fantasy MotoGP picks I had Simo not finishing. Gee what a surprise.
And then there's Spies.... At the beginning of the season he was talking about podiums and wins. Perhaps he should set his sights a little more realistically, say a top ten, or maybe FINISHING A FLIPPIN' RACE!
All in all an ok race. At least it wasn't a one rider breakaway.

Many said Dani could only win from the front. He must've learned something new because that looked to be as calculating as a racer can be!

Bravo to Dovi! The Doctor put a hard pass on him to move him out of the way, but Dovi had the pace and hung on like grim death lap after lap. He set up a perfect last turn and got the drive he needed to put Rossi where he deserved. I like Dovi a lot. Ever since watching him perform during the hurricane at Indy 2008.

Spies isn't there yet... He'll keep working at it, though. So will Simo.

Waking me up at the 5 or morning gmt -6 time, beer ready, some snacks too and eyes ready for watch both races, moto2 and gp class, wonderfull in both races, am thinked than pedrosa was in conservative mode but has show to us than now can attack clearly for the championship.

Sorry for lorenzo, no more astronauts celebrations, now he have to worry about the Honda, still the yamaha have good cornering speed but that bike needs power and aceleration, even if they tested a new eletronics package for the M1, yamaha clearly needs to work for counter some of the aspects of the RC212V, maybe they will develop a clone of Honda zero shift gearbox. only time will tell.

With this victory pedrosa will gain a boost of morale, and put some of pressure on their team mates specially stoner, something wrong with stoner, like unfocused and distracted, and dovi is still dovi.

The luck not was now in Super Sic, the guy have hungry for podimus and victory, if he combine his aggresive style with an smart and clever strategy am sure than he will be celebratin the first victory of MotoGP Class, he just need time, the words for lorenzo against him was for putting some pressure on his persona, lorenzo must focus on his own work because doest not have it easy. some persons are better in silence.

Now go on for Le Mans.
Gambatte Honda!!

...but also not the most nerve thrilling race.

In the end it was the "injured" weekend. Pedrosa by far the best one but I was impressed by Cal & Alvaros and surprised by Rossi (but has Ducati understood that the others are getting better and better and they aren't year over year since the 800s)?

Up to today I thought Lorenzo was a step ahead due to his mental strength but Dani has showed he is a serious challenge. Even at the track where #1 has the best chances!

Fabulous ride by Dani, some way from full fitness and asserting himself firmly in the No.1 Repsol spot. Well pleased for him after tons of bad luck. The first 3 Honda 800s were nothing short of average, I suspect Dani should get a large amount of credit for the bike being what it is today. Beating Jorge at Estoril is no mean feat. Brilliant.
Aoyama and Cal also putting in brilliant performances.
As a fan I'm pretty happy with Vales result also. 5th didnt look anywhere near achievable and to hold 4th all race and just lose out on grunt is better than expected(not wanted, note).
The duke clearly doesn't handle, and now it's not quick either. I hope the improvements ducati have planned are drastic, as they seem to have continued the backwards trend when the rest are going forwards leaving a performance abyss.
Still some 40 seconds up on the second duke is a good ride no question. Unfortunately it's only relatively at the mo..
Get in DP!

Pretty good performance by Pedrosa. I thought he was going to drop off in the last few laps. But he kept it close and finally made a move. Even put in faster laps after he got past Jorge. Kinda expected Super Sic to not finish but didn't expect him to crash that early. looked like he got a little too eager. was expecting to see Casey to reel them in but Jorge and Dani was on a blistering pace. Can't wait for the next race.

Lorenzo beaten at his best track by an injured rider.. Awesome. Sorry that Casey was injured and was gapped after Sic fell. I fully expect VR46 to do well in test and be up there in next few races.

2010 was fortunate year for Jlo but as can be seen a fit and fast Dani, Stoner and if VR46 gets going lets see how many podiums he has unless someone falls, i predict less than 6 wins.

I'm a VR46 fan but i'm shocked to hear people talking about Dani only winning from front, there is no other way to win. The 2004 and 2005 250cc championships showed at Assen and Lemans especially that Dani is damn good, needs time to get braking right cause of his small size, but he is bloody good.

i suspect like today Jlo will be cruising around for 3rd or 4th place and be fortunate with others misfortune.

To the fastest man on the planet? the 2011 pre-season world champion...?? poor Casey, oh wait it is all Super sic's fault, Got it Casey.....

The race was mildly enjoyable, Great ride by Dani, he really put down the hammer on those last three laps. Fairly impressed too by Rossi's performance based on his lack of it during the final qualification session.

Cant wait for Le mans.

I for one really felt that George had something left in the locker,but Dani's ability and resolve was great to see. I rate that one as one of Dani's finest races ever.
Casey was somewhat out of sorts the whole weekend,but nevertheless a solid ride into third.
By now one could reasonably have expected better from Valentino and Nicky,given the enormous effort behind them.
Big winners were Colin,Cal,Hiro and Dovi.
Big losers were Simmo and Ben. On the day Simmo was a self made man.
Ben...well the jury's out.
Anyway,a thoroughly entertaining day's racing across all classes.

Spies isn't even mentioned there with his touching Nicky's back tire before finally running wide in a corner then dropping it and what looked like breaking his throttle possibly. It's sad cause I'm a huge Spies fan, have followed him since his early AMA Superbike days, but I've never seen him ride like he has to start this season. Someone or maybe his mom needs to sit him down and se what's going on in his head. At this point it looks like Colin Edwards was more deserving of the Yamaha factory seat.

He didnt ride so badly this year. In Qatar he was pretty much in the rythm but was really too careful in the firsts laps, in Jerez he was upthere in qualifying and second two laps to the end under the rain, and yesterday he was again quite alright, lapping in '38, and he would probably have been with rossi and dovisiozo during the race... but they forgot some tool near the brake lever before the start (thats what he was reaching at when he went wide at turn six on the second lap) and then just couldnt ride the thing, it was pretty obvious he had some real problem with the front, though he was lapping much slower than in practice.

So as a Spies fan I wouldn't worry too much... I too was dreaming of immediate podiums and wins, but we'll just have to wait a little bit more... you can't stop what's coming !

Congratulations to Pedrosa, and thanks to Iannone, Zarco and Vinales for the great racing and fighting !

... who know everything must already know this, then:

"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..."



Sorry Krop but this doesn't stack up for me;

'Valentino Rossi looked like clinching 4th, an outstanding result from the perspective of the Ducati's development'

This bike has been winning multiple races for the past few seasons; and Nicky is going backwards from his last year's results. Rossi is doing alright, no better than we should expect, but I'm yet to see any evidence of development / progression as a 'rideable bike' for all Duc riders.

It's funny to see how some posters can predict the championship outcome based on the last race's results.

The bikes and riders are so very close this year that any one of 6 or 7 teams can "get it all together" and win - or "blow it" and loose on any given Sunday.

Just because Dani won doesn't mean Casey or SimoSic or Spies or anyone else is inferior. Some bikes and riders do better at some tracks and I expect to see good races and variation of winners this year.

Today Dani was brilliant, Jorge was extreamly fast (as has been his motus operandi for over a year now) and Casey held his own. Vale is progressing well and will soon be back on form - I can't wait.

Ben had bad luck and others like Dovi and Crutchlow rode very well. I like the way things are going so far - except my man Spies is having a spell of poor luck. His time will come I am sure.

Boring racing? I think not. I'm loving it!

One race, the third of, what, 18 races... let's write off anyone who didn't win it : )

Stoner could not get the bike to work the way he likes it. Perhaps he should have just over-ridden it, and risked a crash? Or is it smarter to bring it home in third and put some points up. Really guys, it doesn't take rocket science to understand that you can't go as fast as you would like if your bike isn't doing what you need it to do, but what puzzles me more is that even after all of the top riders have at various times expressed their astonishment at Stoner's speed we still get the armchair experts scoffing and doubting. They must have damn fast armchairs.

What a brilliant race from Pedrosa, who is definitely maturing as a title contender.

Good work from Dovi too. I don't buy the 'tow' arguement - it's one thing to be able to hang with Rossi during a race, another thing altogether to pass him. He rode smart, worked out where he might be able to do it - and then did it. He may not be a genuine title contender, but he's a fast guy on a factory Honda and he's doing better than Ben Spies.

Who suffered the sort of bad luck that almost cruelled his WSBK campaign, but there is no doubt about his potential. And very unfortunate for Sic after the pre-race entertainment... but he'll be back.

Great work from Bautista. Hope he has a good run at Le Mans.

How about that love fest in the post race press conference?! Not bad at all from three really fast guys that all didn't do too shabby on the day.

I think it was a shrewd race by Pedrosa. I noticed about a dozen times that in turn one he backed off and braked very early. So early it didn't quite make sense unless there was a mechanical issue. He had Lorenzo in his sights but had nothing to prove early on and saved his strength, tires and time until the end. It wasn't a mind game. It wasn't the other rider cracking under the pressure. It wasn't ego. It was just one guy a bit faster and he held his cards until the end when it matters. Not super exciting, but a great display.

Three races, three winners and only two weeks to the next race. Good times!

Personally, I really enjoyed this race. Yeah, races wih lots of overtakings are exciting, but I really like when there is interesting strategy going on, it kept me all the race wondering what the - - - - was going to happen!
I'm quite happy for Pedrosa because he did an outstanding job, including having to endure the pain from the surgery, so he deserved it. But also because I find it very unfair how he was the one who developed this bike, the one who did the hard work (that not many riders are able to do) and now other riders are enjoying the benefits of that work.I guess this is the same as what happened to Rossi last year when Lorenzo won with a bike developed by Valentino. Although Dani hasn't complained about it, so I have to give that to him too, and I guess it's better for us because there are more riders with possibilities of fighting in the front.
While watching this race I couldn't help but wish that Dani would have been born some years earlier to have seen him ride a 500cc bike. He is great with a 800cc, maybe even the most stylish riding, but it would have been great to see him with a 500cc. It makes me remember when 10 years ago he was riding a 125cc and no-one knew who he was yet, but Rossi saw him ride and asked who the ---- was that kid riding a 125cc like a 500cc. It's a pity how for other people it has taken them 10 years to see how talented the boy is, and others don't even want to see it yet.

It may not have been the most exciting race, but it was full of tension for this fan. Had me on the edge of my seat throughout. Dani played JLo like a fool, braking early, not showing his hand, stalking and waiting. Brilliant strategic race. And then the rate at which he f**ked off into the sunset....beautiful. Bye Bye Space Cadet. I used to really like JL but these days I'm just happy when he gets beat. Ever since Motegei, dunno why.....

The Monster boys both impressed me. Great to see CE2 up there again, and Cal, if not for his dodgy arm would have held off Aoyama.

And I though VR made the Duc look better than it is, or at least has looked recently. And he made his fellow Ducati riders look positively ordinary. Clearly his physical condition is becoming less of an issue and he is learning how to ride around some of the limitations.

Simo proved my predictions to be correct albeit a handful of laps earlier. They say you can teach a guy to not crash, but you cant teach him to be fast. Really? Is the same guy teaching Simo, Xaus and Marquez? He's got his work cut out at this rate. At least Marquez has lots of time on his side. Simo, if he don't stop crashing like the oversized muppet he looks like, I'd say his Honda days are done. After his comments to JLo about having to be arrested, boy that kid has some nerve considering he has a WHOLE lot left to prove. Pratt.