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Double podium at Estoril delivers third consecutive Yamaha triple crownFiat Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi put in a superb team performance today at the Grand Prix of Portugal on the Estoril circuit, taking first and second respectively to deliver Yamaha it's third consecutive Triple Crown with the Team, Rider and Manufacturers' titles. The achievement marks the first time since the Triple Crown's inception that any manufacturer has won it three times in a row. After a weekend of disruption from the weather today's race was run mainly in bright sunshine, although rain earlier in the day meant the track was still patchy to begin with.
art from pole, taking the lead into the first corner before briefly relinquishing it to Nicky Hayden for a few seconds before taking back control of the race. Team-mate Rossi made a play for the lead on lap four, relegating Lorenzo to second until lap 17 where a decisive out braking manoeuvre saw the Spaniard retake the lead, putting his head down to build an impressive eight second lead over Rossi by the chequered flag. The victory was another landmark for Lorenzo, being the third consecutive time he has won from pole position at this track. Rossi's second position finish continues his impressive record in Portugal, giving him his tenth podium here in all classes.
Rossi's second-place and a non-finish from Casey Stoner means the Italian has moved back to third in the championship standings, 19 points off Dani Pedrosa and second place. The final round of the season comes in one week's time at Valencia in Spain.
"On the warm-up lap I could see there were still a few wet parts and I knew that I was going to have to be careful at the beginning. I got a great start and was in the lead but eventually Valentino overtook me and then off he went. He had a better pace than me then and I couldn't go with him. As the track got drier I found my pace improving and then step-by-step I closed the gap and was able to get past him. At that point I felt really good and I am so happy to win for the third time here at Estoril. It was a long time since I have won but my confidence has remained high and I haven't been worried. I knew I could win here at my favourite track. We also confirmed the Triple Crown for Yamaha today so well done to the whole team for this victory" - Jorge Lorenzo.
"Like I said yesterday, a wet warm up and a dry race is a difficult one! I am happy about this weekend, we worked really well on the bike on the wet and this morning I was the fastest in the warm up, if it had been a wet race I could have been very competitive. For the dry we started blind so I had to try to take some risks at the beginning because the setting was ok, but it was not enough because when Jorge got into his rhythm he was faster than me, I had no way to fight with him. I tried to stay with him but he was too fast. Anyway second place is positive for my championship because I am back in third place and I'm not so far from Dani Pedrosa in second. I'm happy to have improved the setting of the bike but we are still not strong enough so we will try to improve for Valencia for a final win with Yamaha" - Valentino Rossi.
вЂњTo be back onto the podium is so important for us and IвЂ™d like to thank my team and fans for their support this weekend. We canвЂ™t be completely happy with our pace today because we were a long way from the front two riders, but overall the result is positive for us. The situation at Estoril has been strange for the whole weekend with every session being held in wet conditions and third position was the best we could have done today. It was quite an aggressive battle with Simoncelli but it has always been like this with him, so I needed to have a strategy for the last lap. He was faster than me in T3 and T4 and every time into the chicane he overtook me, but I knew that it was possible to take him out of the last corner because I had a bit more speed onto the straight, so this was my plan - and it worked. Now itвЂ™s possible to fight with Stoner for fourth place in the championship and - although it will be difficult because he was fast here before he crashed and also has a ten point lead - this will be our target for Valencia next weekendвЂќ - Andrea Dovizioso.
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 46'17.962
2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team + 8.629
3. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team + 26.475
4. Marco Simoncelli (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini + 26.534
5. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team + 27.154
6. Randy de Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP + 28.297
7. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 30.109
8. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team + 44.947
9. Marco Melandri (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini + 1'13.649
10. Hector Barbera (SPA) Aspar Team + 1'17.721
11. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 1'17.908
12. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Interwetten-Honda MotoGP + 1'33.025
13. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 1'39.752
Carlos Checa (SPA) Pramac Racing Team 15 Lap
Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 24 Lap
Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Pramac Green Team 28 Lap
Ben Spies (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
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