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Lorenzo happy with valuable points, Spies disappointed

Lorenzo happy with valuable points, Spies disappointed

Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo, extended his unbroken run of podium finishes today in the bwin Grande Prémio de Portugal, with second place in Estoril. Ben Spies failed to finish the race after a tool was left on his bike at the start, which compromised his riding. The American crashed out of a top ten place, scoring no points.

Having taken his fourth consecutive Estoril pole position in yesterday’s qualifying, the reigning World Champion retained the lead from the off. Lorenzo completed 25 laps in the lead, before relinquishing to Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda,) just three laps from the end, crossing the line in second place to take valuable championship points. The Spaniard leads the 2011 MotoGP championship by four points over his closest rival, Pedrosa.

Lorenzo’s team mate Ben Spies, was again denied the opportunity to complete the MotoGP race in Estoril. A tool used to temporarily block the fuel overflow pipe on grid was accidentally left in place for the race start, compromising the Texan’s ability to ride competitively. The tool’s location adjacent to the front brake lever made it impossible for him to brake effectively, ultimately affecting his concentration, which resulted in a crash with fifteen laps remaining of the race.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

“I made a good start and which I was really happy. I then pushed to my maximum to try to open up the gap to Pedrosa. Unfortunately today was not the day for that, he was too strong and consistent and at the end, he was maybe fresher to push. Second is a good result, we have a lot of points from three races, so I think we are in a good way to keep fighting for the championship. I want to thank my team who worked really hard this weekend to make sure we were as competitive as we could be.”

Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing

“I am bitterly disappointed with today. After a lot of hard work by the crew this weekend, we started the race with a very competitive set up and I was feeling good. When I noticed the tool hadn’t been removed, I tried to do it myself because it was right in there next to my brake lever. I managed to get it off but then this loose tube was flying around which was pretty scary. It really messed with my concentration, as I was worried about taking out another rider in one of the corners. Then I crashed. After the non finish at Jerez, this was really frustrating as it was completely out of my control. I will move on and come back strong for Le Mans.”

MotoGP, 2011, bwin GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Ben Spies, Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

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