Dressed as an astronaut, Jorge Lorenzo made 'one giant leap' into Valentino Rossi's MotoGP World Championship lead with victory at Estoril on Sunday.
Lorenzo dominated the Portuguese Grand Prix for all but the first few turns to claim his fourth win of the season by a commanding 6.3sec and first win from pole since his debut MotoGP victory at Estoril in 2008.
“It's been perfect weekend for us. I dominated practice and felt great on the bike. It is not always like this so we have to enjoy it,” smiled Lorenzo.
“In two or three corners I overtook Dani [Pedrosa] and opened a little one-second gap. At first it was difficult to increase that gap, but as the tyres went down I could keep my pace.
“But I didn't expect this victory with such a big gap and I didn't expect Rossi to finish fourth,” he admitted.
After qualifying a close second on the grid, Rossi was pushed back to fourth by the end of the opening lap - where he remained to the chequered flag.
The reigning six time MotoGP champion finished a massive 23.4sec behind his Fiat Yamaha team-mate and saw his title advantage cut from 30 to 18 points.
While the Italian struggled, a returning Casey Stoner claimed an excellent second position for Ducati, with Pedrosa over 13 seconds ahead of Rossi in third for Honda.
“Today Dani and Casey helped me to reduce the gap to Valentino, but it could happen the opposite way in the future - they might be ahead of me,” warned Lorenzo.
Rossi's world championship lead has now dropped to less than one race win (25 points) for the first time since the German Grand Prix on July 19, with three rounds and 75 points remaining. Rossi and Lorenzo are now officially the only riders that can win the 2009 championship.