MotoGP »

Rossi rules in Portugal.

Valentino Rossi became the first rider in 2003 to take back-to-back MotoGP victories today at Estoril, the Italian overcoming early leader Max Biaggi to take a comprehensive victory – while the final podium position would be decided right at the line.

Qualifying had seen Loris Capirossi claim his third pole position for Ducati as Italian supremacy once again shone through with Capirossi, Biaggi and Rossi sweeping the front three positions. Capirossi's time of 1min 38.412secs was also a new pole position record and the former 125cc and 250cc World Champion admitted even he was surprised by his pace.

Behind the Italian trio, Sete Gibernau was forced to settle for a front row start in fourth, despite improving his time on his second machine after first crashing and then running into the gravel as he pushed to improve his rhythm.

After setting the second fastest time yesterday, Olivier Jacque was baulked by a slower rider in the final two sections of a last gasp lap which had him on course to snatch pole. However, the Frenchman equalled his best ever grid position on the Yamaha M1 with fifth place, just ahead of former team-mate Shinya Nakano. The pair are joined on the second row by factory colleague Carlos Checa and the second Ducati ridden by Troy Bayliss.

Tohru Ukawa was one of the major victims of the improved pace, dropping from the front row to the third, where he was joined by Makoto Tamada, Marco Melandri and Alex Barros.

Further down the order, Spanish rider David De Gea would pilot the WCM four-stroke on its race debut from 22nd on the grid - ahead of 2000 winner Garry McCoy's factory Kawasaki, Nobuatsu Aoki's Proton V5 and his own team-mate Chris Burns - who unfortunately wouldn't start after damaging his machine in a morning warm-up fall.

Onto race day, and when the red lights disappeared it was something of a surprise to see Biaggi beat Capirossi's fast starting Ducati into turn one, while Gibernau tucked into third ahead of Rossi, Bayliss Jacque, Nakano, Ukawa and Checa.

That order would remain to the end of the first lap, when Rossi slipstreamed past Gibernau for third by turn one – then pitched his RCV inside Capirossi a few turns later to set his sights on the rapid Roman up front.

It took Vale just two laps to close Biaggi's slim lead and shape the battle at the front into a two-by-two-by-one affair with he and Biaggi contesting the lead, Capirossi and Gibernau fighting over third (0.7secs behind) and fifth placed Bayliss dropping back into the clutches of Melandri and Ukawa.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rossi wins in Estoril.
Nakagami, Oliveira, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Edgar Pons, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Isaac Vinales, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Schrotter, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Cortese, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Quartararo, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Pawi, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Isaac Vinales, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Quartararo, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Aegerter, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Kent, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Luthi, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Morbidelli, Luthi, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Morbidelli leads start, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Vinales overtakes Dovizioso, Qatar MotoGP Race 2017
Biaggi, Qatar Moto3 race 2017
Arenas, Qatar Moto3 race 2017

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.