Pedrosa ends Lorenzo run at Estoril

Sun, 01 May 13:49:00 2011

Dani Pedrosa passed fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo late in the Portuguese MotoGP to end the world champion's run of victories from pole at Estoril.

- 0

Lorenzo had won three races on the trot in Portugal and led from pole again until four laps from the end, when Pedrosa slipstreamed him and opened up a lead to the chequered flag.

Casey Stoner was a comfortable third to complete the podium while Andrea Dovizioso waited until the final yards to slipstream and sensationally pass Valentino Rossi.

Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa overtook Marco Simoncelli off the line for second, and the Italian's race was ended soon after. Also crashing early were Hector Barbera and Karel Abraham.

Lorenzo, holding his lead on the factory Yamaha, would not have shed a tear for the fate of the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider as they were involved in a public spat regarding Simoncelli's perceived aggressive style before and during the race weekend.

After falling back initially Briton Cal Crutchlow recovered eighth spot while Tech 3 team-mate Colin Edwards moved up to sixth. Between them fellow American Nicky Hayden was the big mover of the opening lap, up six places to seventh.

With Stoner quickly left behind it was a tyre-to-tyre battle between Lorenzo and Pedrosa, with the latter repeatedly setting fastest laps but unable - or unwilling - to put a move on the Mallorcan.

With the Catalan's shoulder yet to fully heal, you had to wonder whether he would risk a pass with 20 World Championship points also at stake. But he made his move on lap 24 of the 28, slipstreaming Lorenzo who seemed unwilling to aggressively block off his compatriot.

Hiroshi Aoyama took advantage of a coming together to pass Hayden and Ben Spies. The latter American suffered a difficult afternoon, losing the bike a couple of times before finally crashing out with 16 laps remaining.

The Japanese would finish seventh behind Colin Edwards, who had an uneventful race. Some way ahead of him Rossi could not shed Dovizioso who, in a similar battle to the one at the front also eventually prevailed - but at the last possible moment. There was only 0.025s between them on the line.

Crutchlow fought hard for an eighth-place finish - enjoying a terrific duel with Aoyama - with Hayden ninth ahead of Randy de Puniet, Toni Elias and Loris Capirossi. Alvaro Bautista completed the order.

Lorenzo leads the standings with 65 points from Pedrosa (61) and Stoner (41). In the three following places, 10 points back, Rossi, Hayden and Dovizioso are separated by a point.

Jonathan Symcox / Eurosport

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account