The strength in depth in the MotoGP class this season was illustrated once again at Portugal, with close racing throughout almost all the points scoring positions.

The Estoril event saw less than 32-seconds covering the top fourteen riders, which is the third closest top-fourteen of all time in the premier-class.

The improvement in race speeds is also illustrated by the fact that Aprilia's Colin Edwards - 14th at Estoril - finished with a race time good enough to take victory in the fastest ever 500cc race at the same venue (in 2001) by more than 5 seconds!

The most 'competitive' race to date was the 2001 Australian Grand Prix, with last year's French GP its nearest rival - however, that was shortened due to rain.

In fifth place in the following list is the second 2003 entry, for the Czech Republic GP, the only venue to feature twice in the top five.

GP points are awarded for the top fifteen riders.

Race time covering first 14 riders:

1. Australia/2001/Phillip Island - 21.360secs
2. France/2002/Le Mans - 27.011secs*
3. Portugal/2003/Estoril - 31.505secs
4. Czech/2000/Brno - 35.863secs
5. Czech/2003/Brno - 41.240secs

* Race shortened due to rain.



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