Estoril MotoGP: Astronaut Jorge Lorenzo ‘over the moon’

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Dressed in astronaut leathers and helmet, it was hardly surprising that Jorge Lorenzo declared himself over the moon after he dominated yesterday’s Portuguese MotoGP race at Estoril.

A superb performance saw Lorenzo romp to his fourth win in 2009 to rekindle the Spaniard’s hopes of lifting the world title.

With Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi struggling badly with Bridgestone rear grip issues that left him in a distant and lonely fourth, Lorenzo’s second successive win in Estoril saw him cut the deficit on his Italian colleague to just 18-points with three races remaining.

Wearing special astronaut riding gear to mark the 40th anniversary of the Neil Armstrong’s first moonwalk, Lorenzo was ecstatic after he headed Ducati’s Casey Stoner and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa in the 28-lap clash.

“I am over the moon. It’s been a perfect weekend for me. I dominated practice and got another pole position and felt great on the bike.

“It is not always like this so we have to enjoy it and savour the moment. I didn’t make a bad start and after two or three corners I overtook Dani and opened a gap.

“At first it was difficult to increase that gap, but as the tyres went down I could keep my pace.

“Casey was very strong and pushing very hard and it was only when he decided to drop his pace that I could relax a bit more. But I didn’t expect this victory with such a big gap and I didn’t expect Rossi to be finishing fourth,”

Rossi was on the receiving end of a rare humbling as he finished nearly 25 seconds behind Lorenzo and upset with his failure to muster any sort of challenge.

His world title lead too has shrunk from 50 to 18-points in three races and Lorenzo said he still had nothing to lose as their title fight moves onto Australia and Malaysia later this month.

“I think Valentino is the rider who has to win the championship. So he has the pressure to win it. I still don’t have anything to lose.

“The championship is less impossible, but it will be very difficult because beating Valentino in the last races is not going to be easy.

“ani and Casey have helped me to reduce the gap to Valentino, but it could happen the opposite way in the future  and they might be ahead of me,“ said the 22-year-old.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt