"I don't know what came over me" - Roberts on historic win

Speaking on the MotoGP™ Podcast, the American details his incredible victory in Portimao to make history for America

Italtrans Racing's Joe Roberts made a piece of history in Portimao by becoming the first American to win a Grand Prix in over a decade. Ben Spies was the last man to hear the Star Spangled Banner ring out across a circuit but, finally, American fans were able to celebrate again following Roberts' magnificent performance in Portugal.

His victory did come with a huge slice of luck after an eleven rider crash on Lap 9 saw many of the leading contenders retire from the race. However, as the American admits himself of the latest episode of the MotoGP™ Podcast with Fran Wyld and Elliott York, sometimes "that's just how it goes in racing".

"It was a crazy race," started Roberts when asked about the race he says he's now watched five times since Sunday. "In the first part, I kind of got off well and I was with that front group when it started spitting with rain. I've had a lot of races and a lot of practice sessions in those conditions where it starts to rain and, as a rider, it's so hard to know how hard to push.

"I don't know why, but I had in the back of my mind that you can get localized rain showers here and I thought it could happen. When I came in to turn two and I saw the bikes everywhere, I figured out really quickly that that what happening, so I rolled out of it a lot but I still didn't roll out of it enough as I had a huge moment too. I mean it was crazy slippery but sometimes that's just how it goes with racing. It's just a bit of bad luck for the guys that got to that corner first. I was lucky to be just behind and see it all happen and be able to react quick enough."

With a handful of leading contenders ruled out and chaos going on in pitlane, Roberts was asked what his mindset was like going into the restarted Moto2™ race: "The race is going on, someone's got to go and win it. I knew Jake [Dixon] was going to be strong. I had a feeling Celestino [Vietti] was also going to be strong as well. I saw Jorge’s [Navarro] pace and it looked pretty good in the first part of the race, so there were some riders in there that I knew were quick and could battle for the win.

"I don't know what came over me. I was talking to Wayne Rainey last night actually and his feeling about winning his first race is pretty similar to mine. I didn't feel like I was pushing to the limit, it just felt like everything came naturally and just flowed. I had nothing to lose, everything to gain so I just went for it.

"I was pretty surprised with the gap I was able to pull. On the last lap, I just cruised. I had a weird thing all weekend that I'd be in the rain and I'd be on a fast lap, I'd be up or something with red helmets and I'd come to the last sector and I'd throw it down for some reason. So, on the last lap, I was taking it extra careful to bring it home."

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