MotoGP

Estoril MotoGP Rider Comment

Find out who said what about who following this weekend's racing action

HERE'S WHAT the top jockeys had to say following the weekend's Portuguese GP action from Estoril:

Jorge Lorenzo - Yamaha - 1st

"What a day! I'm so happy to win here again in the same track where I won my first MotoGP race last year. I worked so hard in the break on my fitness with my father and maybe that's given me a little bit of extra speed, I certainly felt so strong this weekend and it is great to win like this after being top in every session as well. I got a good start and it took me just a couple of corners to get past Dani and take the lead, but I honestly didn't expect to be unchallenged from then on or to finish with such a big gap. This is a good track for me but I am fast more or less everywhere now. The championship is closer now; it's still not easy but we have nothing to lose! I'm proud that we have won the Team Title and I want to say thanks and congratulations to everyone. I liked my leathers and helmet a lot this weekend and I wanted to celebrate Neil Armstong and his landing on the moon so this is why I made this ‘moonwalk show' after the race!"

Casey Stoner - Ducati - 2nd

“It is great to be competitive again and to stay that way right to the end of the race. I maybe could have been faster over the opening few laps but I made a little mistake, which caused my foot to slip off the peg. It broke the footrest support and it was moving around in all the right-handers, so my foot was slipping off. As the laps went by I was able to alter the footpeg position a little but I wasn’t able to go any faster. Obviously Jorge was too fast for us today and he did a fantastic job but I’m still really happy today for myself and for the team. It is brilliant to come back like this and I think it shows that the decision to take a break and tackle a physical problem that was really making it impossible for us, was the right choice. Like I said I’m happy for the team because it has also been a difficult period for them. My relationship with Ducati, built over the past three years, has always been strong and solid. Now I’ll try and start training a little before the next race because over the last few months my physical condition has suffered and I need to try and get some muscle back. The target for the next few races is for myself and the team to prepare as well as we can for next season.”

Dani Pedrosa - Honda - 3rd

“I made a very good start today and held the lead until the third corner where I ran a little wide and Jorge came by. He was pushing really hard in the first few laps and even though I was too, I couldn’t match his rhythm as he opened up a gap. When Casey came past I tried to stay with him and was able to put some pressure on and maintain a good pace. I had a moment though where the bike was snaking as I braked, I ran wide and I nearly crashed - that cost me some time and opened up the gap to Casey. So I’m reasonably happy with a podium and it definitely will now be an interesting fight for third place in the championship with Casey. He is the reference in Australia and so the next race is going to be hard fought - I’m looking forward to it. I definitely want to win at least one of the three races left and maybe the next one is the most important.”

Valentino Rossi - Yamaha - 4th

"It was a very difficult race for me. I was never able to be fast because I did not have enough grip in the rear and our tyre did not work well, but I think it was more a problem of setting. After a few laps I was in great difficulties and I immediately understood that this was not going to be "our" race. Throughout the practice sessions I had some problems but I thought that today I would be able to at least stay with Stoner and Pedrosa, but they made another step forward for the race and then there was no chance for me. On Friday I was three tenths off the pace and unfortunately this stayed the same all weekend and in the race today. Here in Estoril we struggled last year as well, so it might be that, with our setting, the rear tyre gets very hot and this causes a lack of grip. It is a pity that I am off the podium, but we have three more races and they are three great tracks. We must think race by race and we must work to understand what the problem was today in order to make sure that we fix it in time for Phillip Island".

Colin Edwards - Yamaha - 5th

“Like I said yesterday, if you're the next best rider behind the top four in the world then you've done a good job and I rode the strongest race I could today. I got a good start but we've been fighting some front-end movement all weekend and I knew early on I wasn't going to be able to go with Valentino (Rossi) in front of me. The tyres worked great but we were just missing something on the set-up that meant even though Valentino was struggling a little bit, I couldn't really put any pressure on him. As much as I couldn't comfortably stay with the four guys in front, it was pretty easy for me to run a pace that meant I could pull away from the group behind me. Once I'd got a comfortable gap it was just a case of staying consistent to make sure I didn't give anybody a chance of catching me. I got a few more points back on Dovizioso for fifth in the championship and that is a good reward for the all effort my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 have put in.We've got three races to go and I'll be giving it my all as always because I really want that fifth spot in the championship.”

James Toseland - Yamaha - 9th

“I really enjoyed that race and it was good to be in an exciting battle with the second group. I was running pretty much the same lap times as Dovizioso and (Toni) Elias for most of the race and there was a great battle between myself, Hayden and Capirossi. I was having the most fun in that race that I've had for a while. The difficulty for me was that I've been struggling with a cold all weekend and it is very difficult to take any kind of medication when you've got to race. Over the whole race distance I didn't realise how much the cold had taken out of me but it wasn't a big problem. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team have worked incredibly hard all weekend to give me a really good package to ride today. I'm still only twelve points off seventh in the championship and that is my target now for the remaining three races. I really want that seventh place in the championship and am looking forward to giving the team a good finish to the year.”

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