FIM MotoGP - Lorenzo Regains Points Lead With Victory In Portugal
INDIANAPOLIS, May 22, 2012: Jorge Lorenzo regained the points lead with a dominant victory Sunday, May 20 in the Grand Prix of Portugal, but the MotoGP World Championship buzzed after the race for another reason.
Seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi scored his first podium finish in 12 months, placing second in wet conditions on his Ducati Team machine. It was his best finish for Ducati since his high-profile move to the Italian team before the 2011 season. Rossi's only other podium finish for Ducati was third at this event last year."I'm really, really happy," Rossi said. "We knew we had a special opportunity in the wet today, so I tried to ride perfectly and not throw it away. Now we must continue giving our all until we're also able to be competitive in the dry."
Lorenzo led the entire race to win by 9.905 seconds over Rossi on his Yamaha Factory Racing machine. 2010 World Champion Lorenzo took a 90-82 lead over two-time and reigning World Champion Stoner, who finished third on his Repsol Honda just three days after shocking the motorcycle world by announcing his retirement after this season.
Dani Pedrosa finished fourth on a Repsol Honda, while rookie Stefan Bradl rounded out the top five on an LCR Honda.
Rossi prevailed in a spirited joust over the last three laps with rival Stoner. The pair swapped second place in treacherous conditions before Rossi passed Stoner at the chicane on the Bugatti Circuit on the final lap and pulled away.
Nicky Hayden led the American contingent by finishing sixth on a Ducati, tying his season best. Ben Spies finished a disappointing 16th after fishtailing on his Yamaha Factory Racing machine at the start and having problems with vision due to rain seeping into his helmet.
American Colin Edwards did not race due to a broken collarbone suffered earlier this month at the previous event, the Grand Prix of Portugal. He is expected to return for NGM Mobile Forward Racing at the next event, the Grand Prix of Catalunya on June 3 at Barcelona, Spain.
The Red Bull Indianapolis GP is the 11th of 18 races this season, Sunday, Aug. 19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.