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Jerez conquered – now Estoril?

Jerez conquered – now Estoril?

Jerez conquered – now Estoril?

Dani Pedrosa (Telefónica Movistar) finally managed to master his home circuit, Jerez de la Frontera, on Sunday, ending a run of bad luck the Spaniard had experienced in Jerez in recent years.

However, Pedrosa faces another challenge this weekend in the second leg of the MotoGP World Championship in Estoril, the Grande Premio de Portugal, where he has never made onto the podium.

With a win at Estoril having so far slipped his grasp, Pedrosa, the current World Champion, only managed fourth place last season after being first on the starting grid. He also left the Estoril track in 2003 without a podium position when he finished fourth in the 125 category.

However, if Pedrosa´s ferocious attack on the Jerez circuit is a sign of things to come in Estoril, the demanding Portuguese circuit could soon fall to the indefatigable young Spaniard. During Pedrosa´s blazing performance on Sunday, Argentinean Sabastián Porto was the only rider able to keep the Spaniard in his sights.

When the Pedrosa-Porto battle recommences on Sunday, Porto will have plenty of reason to start off with confidence. The Aprilia rider was only three tenths behind last year's Estoril winner to take second; while in 2002 he snatched third place on the podium.

Last year at Estoril, Hector Barbera (Fortuna Lotus Honda) claimed victory in the 125cc, while his current team-mate, Jorge Lorenzo, took third. Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Kopron) obtained the best result amongst the rookies with fifth place.

This year's 250 race certainly got off to a flying start with the nail-biting Pedrosa-Porto battle, but it did leave many victims of misfortune in its wake – notably Randy de Puniet (Aspar Team) and Casey Stoner (Carrera Sunglasses-LCR) who came off the track while in excellent positions. Both riders had been in third position before their untimely exit from the race – de Puniet had been one of the few riders able to pressure the Pedrosa and Porto duo.


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