Tech 3 Team Happy With Friday Performance

Tech_3_Racing_at_JerezColin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow made an impressively fast return to MotoGP action in Portugal today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders lapping consistently inside the top ten during the opening day of practice at the Estoril track.

Edwards ended with the sixth fastest time, the experienced American taking full advantage of unexpectedly dry and warm conditions to set a best time of 1.38.203 that put him less than 0.5s away from the top three.

Forecasts had predicted rain for the opening day of the Portuguese Grand Prix but both sessions took place on a full dry track with temperatures this afternoon nudging close to 25 degrees.

Edwards, who was fourth until the final moments of the second 45-minute session, made big progress in improving side grip with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine having made swingarm set-up changes after he was seventh fastest this morning.

Rookie Crutchlow produced another fantastic performance that not only showcased his ability learn and master new tracks quickly, but the British rider also demonstrated his determination to ride at 100 per cent despite facing a grueling physical test.

During the long break following the postponement of the Japanese Grand Prix, Crutchlow underwent surgery to solve a numbness issue in his right hand that occurred during the first two races in Qatar and Jerez. But Crutchlow was struck by a chronic arm pump issue again this morning and he needed a large build-up of fluid draining from his right arm in the Clinica Mobile ahead of the second session.

A modified handlebar position helped Crutchlow feel much more comfortable on his YZR-M1 machine this afternoon and he was unlucky not to finish inside the top seven after a brilliant performance.

He was as high as seventh in the final stages when he was unfortunate to be bumped down the order to 13th. He ended with a best time of 1.38.912 having knocked nearly 1.5s off from his best time from this morning and he was only 0.5s behind Edwards and marginally over a second away from the fastest pace set by Marco Simoncelli.

Colin Edwards 6th 1.38.203 – 42 laps

“That was a pretty good day and I’m really satisfied. We just rolled the bike off the truck and immediately I had a good feeling without having to make any changes. I’ve always gone well at this circuit and I’ve no idea why, but right out of the gate I felt comfortable on the bike and I was able to lap easily insi de the top six for most of both sessions.

“This afternoon I never used the soft tyre and I probably lost a bit of time that would have put my further up the timesheets, but that’s not a big issue on Friday. We played with the balance of the bike this afternoon a little bit and tried something different with the swingarm that gave me better side grip with the hard tyre. I wanted to be open the throttle smoothly and generate some speed and we found a good direction, so I’m happy.”

Cal Crutchlow 13th 1.38.760 – 38 laps

“I’m really happy because to be only a second off the pace on a track I’ve never seen before gives me a lot of confidence. I honestly feel I should have kept that seventh place because I made a late change to the bike and everybody went quicker. I could have gone quicker once I was back on track but I encountered a lot of traffic and it was like a 125 session! I got held up and that cost me at least a couple of tenths, which would have easily put me in the top ten. This track is much harder to learn than Jerez. It is quite bumpy and you have to be so precise with your lines that it has been quite difficult.  But I’m only 0.5s behind Colin and he has a good record at this track.

“After this morning I didn’t think I’d be so fast because I was really struggling with my arm. There was a massive build-up of fluid at the end of the session that I had to get drained and I’m not sure why it has happened. I rode a motocross bike last week without any drama, but the brake pressure on a MotoGP bike is incredible. We moved the handlebars out for this afternoon and it was definitely better and I felt more confident on the brakes, but at the end I’ve got another big fluid bump on my forearm.”

[Press Release Courtesy of the Tech 3 Racing]

MotoGP Friday Free Practice Results From Estoril

marco_simoncelli_estorilAfter a month of waiting, the third round of the MotoGP has begun. Marco Simoncelli topped both testing sessions today, beating out Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo.

Simoncelli has been one of the fastest riders on the track throughout the season, but he doesn’t have the points to show for it. Simoncelli was leading in Jerez when he crashed out, losing a chance to score prime points. But the Gresini Honda rider is on pace to challenge for the podium again this weekend.

Simoncelli scored a 1’38.032 lap in FP1, then bettered that time during the second free practice session as temperatures began to heat up, ending the day with a 1’37.663 lap time.

The first free practice session saw three Honda riders at the top, but Jorge Lorenzo was able to squeeze into second place during FP2. Lorenzo finished .06 seconds behind Simoncelli, and just .003 seconds ahead of Dani Pedrosa.

The Friday free practice session showed that Valentino Rossi was in good form. Rossi finished the second free practice session .439 seconds behind the leader. Casey Stoner finished with exactly the same time as the doctor.

Andrea Dovizioso, Colin Edwards, and Ben Spies also showed competitive lap times around the Portugal circuit, as each rider finished within a second of Simoncelli.

MotoGP – Estoril – FP1 Results

  1. Marco SIMONCELLI – San Carlo Honda Gresini – 1’38.032
  2. Casey STONER – Repsol Honda Team
  3. Dani PEDROSA – Repsol Honda Team
  4. Jorge LORENZO – Yamaha Factory Racing
  5. Valentino ROSSI – Ducati Team
  6. Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Repsol Honda Team
  7. Colin EDWARDS – Monster Yamaha Tech 3
  8. Ben SPIES – Yamaha Factory Racing
  9. Hector BARBERA – Mapfre Aspar Team
  10. Randy DE PUNIET – Pramac Racing Team

MotoGP – Estoril – FP2 Results

  1. Marco SIMONCELLI – San Carlo Honda Gresini – 1’37.663
  2. Jorge LORENZO – Yamaha Factory Racing
  3. Dani PEDROSA – Repsol Honda Team
  4. Valentino ROSSI – Ducati Team
  5. Casey STONER – Repsol Honda Team
  6. Colin EDWARDS – Monster Yamaha Tech 3
  7. Karel ABRAHAM – Cardion AB Motoracing
  8. Ben SPIES – Yamaha Factory Racing
  9. Nicky HAYDEN – Ducati Team
  10. Hector BARBERA – Mapfre Aspar Team

The MotoGP riders will have one more free practice session tomorrow before qualifying.

Courtesy of

Bautista Given Go-Ahead, Will Ride at Estoril

Alvaro_Bautista_at_EstorilAlvaro Bautista has been determined to get back on his Suzuki GSV-R as soon as possible. Now, after passing a medical exam, Estoril has been declared fit enough to ride this weekend.

“I am really pleased I have been given the ok to ride, but I must now see what it feels like to get on a MotoGP bike,” Bautista said. “I have done a bit of Supermotard riding and that felt good, but that is nothing like riding the GSV-R. I will see how things go tomorrow morning and we will make a decision about the rest of the weekend after that.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sarmento gave Bautista a thorough examination, and after assessing the Spaniard’s condition, Dr. Sarmento gave Bautista the go-ahead.

It was only 41-days ago that Bautista broke his left femur at Qatar. At the time of his accident his estimated return was two months at the earliest.

Bautista will hop on his GSV-R tomorrow for the first free practice in Estoril, where he will further assess his physical condition.

The Rizla Suzuki team will have test rider Nobuatsu Aoki on hand in case Bautista doesn’t feel like he is capable of competing.

Courtesy of

2011 MotoGP Preview: Estoril

estoril_circuitThe MotoGP riders have had nearly a month off since the second round of the season in Jerez, but they’ll return to the track this weekend for round three of the 2011 MotoGP season. Jorge Lorenzo is the man to beat as the MotoGP riders prepare to take to the grid in Portugal.

Lorenzo has won the last three races at Estoril. And even more impressive, he’s done so each time from the pole position. Lorenzo currently leads the series, taking a win in Jerez and a second place finish in Qatar, and could be tough to beat this weekend.

“This week we will be in Portugal, a country where I’ve had nice moments,” Lorenzo said. “In Estoril I got my first victory in the MotoGP class in 2008 which I repeated over the last two seasons. The track has turned into a talisman for me and it is the place where the astronaut always comes back.

“We have been training for a month, and I hope that this makes us fit for a good race. We are in front of the standings, but it is very early and it is just the beginning. This week will also be important since we are testing on Monday and we will certainly be able to check a lot of things for the future set-up.”

Lorenzo is sure to get a lot of competition from the Repsol Honda team. Casey Stoner has been the hands on favorite this season, but a crash during the race in Jerez dropped him from first to third in the overall standings. Stoner will be looking to make up those lost points this weekend.

Dani Pedrosa should also be fighting for the podium. Pedrosa has managed to find the podium twice the season, despite an ailing shoulder. Pedrosa was able to have corrective surgery over the break. If Pedrosa is healthy this weekend, he’ll be challenging at the front of the race.

Valentino Rossi will also be looking for his first podium. Rossi also benefited from the extended break, giving him some extra time to rest his shoulder. Rossi has 5 victories at Estoril and an additional 5 podiums. The Doctor has been feeling better and better, and he is eager to return to glory.

Rossi’s teammate Nicky Hayden will also be looking for his first podium of the season. Hayden is currently in fourth place behind Lorenzo, Pedrosa, and Stoner, but hasn’t been able to break onto the podium just yet. Hayden has a best finish of fourth at Estoril something that he’ll be trying to improve upon this weekend.

Ben Spies was dangerously close to scoring his first podium of the season at Jerez, but lost control of his bike late in the race and crashed out of contention. Spies is one of the fastest riders on the track, and he’ll be looking for redemption in Estoril.

MotoGP Overall Standings

  1. Lorenzo – Yamaha – 45
  2. Pedrosa – Honda – 36
  3. Stoner – Honda – 25
  4. Hayden – Ducati – 23
  5. Rossi – Ducati – 20
  6. Aoyama – Honda – 19
  7. Dovizioso – Honda – 17
  8. Barbera – Ducati – 14
  9. Crutchlow – Yamaha – 13
  10. Abraham – Ducati – 12

Courtesy of

Pramac Racing Ready for Estoril

pramac_racing_riderThe Pramac Racing team is ready for Estoril. Randy de Puniet will be lining up on Sunday for the Portugal GP, and his teammate Loris Capirossi could be there as well. Capirossi has been dealing with an inflamed shoulder injury, but says that he is confident that he’ll be on the bike this weekend.

Capirossi, like a few other riders in the MotoGP, benefited from the extended break when the Motegi GP was rescheduled. Capirossi had almost a month to recover from his injury, but even with the added time, it may be too soon to race again.

“I like Estoril, although I’ve never done a great deal,” said Capirossi. ‘In this week I have been training twice a day, I’m at 90% of the my physical condition. Running in the water will not be easy, but the bike paradoxically be better in the wet. I am confident we will succeed.”

Randy De Puniet also had some minor surgery during the break. De Puniet had a screw removed from his left knee during the break.

There is a great desire to start again. Physically I’m fine, and I hope that bike is ready for Estoril. I know that Ducati can give us many satisfaction if we work well. All that remains is to prove in these days. The weather? It may rain, it does not matter to me.”

Courtesy of