Rossi Run Away Winner In Estoril

rossi-run-away-winner-in-estoril 5 September 2004

Round: 11 – Estoril Grand Prix
Circuit: Estoril
Date: 5 September 2004
Crowd: 55000
Temp: 26oC
Weather: Hazy

Reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi put on a show of supremacy today, storming clear to win the Portuguese Grand Prix by more than five seconds from Honda rider Makoto Tamada, who was himself four seconds ahead of Alex Barros (Honda) and championship rival Sete Gibernau (Honda). Fellow Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha rider Carlos Checa also rode a strong race to complete the top five.

Starting from second in perfect sunshine, Rossi was behind Loris Capirossi at turn two but shortly after passed the Ducati rider and took the lead. He was unchallenged for the rest of the 28-lap race and crossed the finish line 46 minutes later, taking his sixth victory in his debut season with Yamaha and the 65th of his Grand Prix career. Checa spent the early part of the race engaged in a battle for fifth with fellow Yamaha rider Marco Melandri (Fortuna Gauloises Tech3), before the Italian fell on lap eight, leaving Checa to hold onto fifth place ahead of John Hopkins (Suzuki).

Portugal proved frustrating for Melandri – who featured a special one-off Spiderman colour scheme for the 11th round – after losing the front-end of his YZR M-1 when he ran too wide on the entry to turn seven. He avoided injury but felt the hurt of what might have been a top five finish, or better. His team-mate Norick rode a lonely race after trying his utmost to make ground on Colin Edwards and Troy Bayliss. But his tenth place represents another dependable points-scoring performance from the reliable Japanese stalwart.

Rossi (209pts) now leads the Championship standings by 29 points ahead of Gibernau (180), and Max Biaggi (Honda, 158) – the latter crashing out on the opening lap. Checa has moved up the ranks one place into sixth. The MotoGP paddock now packs up to embark on the annual four-race ‘flyaway’ series before returning to Spain to round off the season. Rossi, Checa and the Factory team will stay on at the Estoril circuit tomorrow to continue their test programme before leaving for the next round in Japan.

Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha) first “This was a super important race for us. It didn’t rain last night so the bike had more grip today and my team worked so hard this morning on the bike to improve the set up. My start was not great but I managed to stay first for the first few laps and the tyres held out really well, so I was able to push through right to the end in the lead. I really wanted to push a lot from the beginning because I knew that if someone else was close at the end it would be really hard, because everyone’s tyres would be moving around a lot. The bike was great today so thanks to Yamaha and everyone in the team for all the hard work.”

Carlos Checa (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha) fifth “I am satisfied with the race result because I started from tenth on the grid and I’ve improved a place in the Championship. After a few laps I felt the tyre go down a bit so I am pleased that I could hold onto my position. However I can’t accept the difference between Valentino and I; I know he’s the best rider but I feel that I must improve and close the gap between us. We need to analyze my performance today and I am going to push myself and my team to improve for the last five races.”

Davide Brivio, Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha team director “Valentino made a great race, always alone, and that shows how strong he was today. It’s of course a very important result for the championship, as we have created a bigger gap from our competitors. Hopefully we will be able to manage like this in the next race as well in Motegi if we face any difficulties there. Yamaha and the team worked very hard here, and this result gives us even more of a boost for the final races. Carlos, despite the trouble he had in warm up this morning, did a good race. We will work with him to improve, he can do better. We won’t stop working now, we’re staying here to test some new parts and we will try to be as prepared as possible for Motegi where we know it won’t be easy.”

Norick Abe (Fortuna Gauloises Tech3) tenth “I’m disappointed because this morning I had really good feeling from the bike with almost the same lap times in the warm-up as yesterday in qualifying. I thought I would be able to do 1’39 laps in the race but I got a bad start and then the feedback went away and I was never comfortable. I couldn’t catch anyone.”

Marco Melandri (Fortuna Gauloises Tech3) DNF “I went wider at that turn than I did on the previous lap and hit the dust. It’s a real pity because I was lying fifth and the bike was okay. My only problem was the front-end on the final turn onto the straight. But I’m not hurt and that’s important.”

Hervé Poncharal, Fortuna Gauloises Tech3 team director “A very disappointing weekend. Marco got a good start and was riding very aggressively in his usual style. Unfortunately he ran too wide and hit a white line. It’s obvious to say it, but we’ve lost points in the World Championship. And again I’ll state the obvious – you need to finish if we are to get those points. It’s a real shame. Norick rode a good race with similar lap times to Colin Edwards and Loris Capirossi, and he continues to progress.”

Camel Honda Team

Makoto Tamada made it onto the second step of the podiumwith his yellow Camel Honda RC211V. It capped a weekendwhich saw him take his first MotoGP pole yesterday and thenof course a thrilling second place today. Contrastingfortunes for Max Biaggi today, who went out on lap one after he came into contact with a rival. A weekend without pointswhich sees him now 51 points off the top of the championshipstandings.

Sito Pons – Camel Honda (Team Principal):”A very unfortunate race for Max and for the titlechallenge. Max had the necessary pace to fight for victoryand his chances ended on the first lap, as well as makinghis title chances that bit slimmer, which is the maindisappointment today. In any case, the team can celebrate agreat second place for Makoto Tamada who rode a superb race.Now we must focus on the next race, to take the championshipfight even further and recover some of those lost points.”

Max Biaggi – Camel Honda (Michelin Tyres) – Not finishedfirst lap:”Obviously I´m disillusioned with today´s events, eventhough I know it´s all part of racing. It was an involuntaryaccident which came about from a misunderstanding withCapirossi. He probably had a lot to do on the first lap, hewas ahead of everyone from the first bend on the track. He was ahead and detached from the rest and he went very wide,going well outside the normal line on that turn. I was rightbehind and with Loris going wide, as well as slowly, I heldmy line as he closed the throttle suddenly. Trying not tocrash into him I jammed on the brakes so hard that my reartyre left the ground. We made contact then and I crashed.It´s a shame, today I was in the right shape to do a goodrace. I don´t want to think about the championship at themoment, but it´s obvious the situation is very difficultnow. There are still five races left however and we willwait to see what happens.”

Gianluca Montiron – Camel Honda – (Makoto Tamada TeamManager):”We´re delighted with Makoto´s race, we even began to thinkthat he was going to catch up the race leader. The tyreshave really made a step forward and the bike´s set-up was really good. We´re reaching that consistency which helps yougo that extra mile: the extra three or four seconds on therace time which means you can compete with the leadersthroughout. Now we go to a really important race for ourJapanese rider; Motegi, and we want to back up the positivesteps we have made in this race.”

Makoto Tamada – Camel Honda (Bridgestone Tyres) – 2nd -46´40.022:”We were able to get the bike set up well and to eliminatethe serious chattering that we got in the practices. It wasa good start and the first part of the race I tried tocontain the gap Valentino was pulling out. In the middlepart of the race I made up some time and closed in on Rossibut he was going strong and got the race under control.

Ididn´t quite have that edge to make a final attack, but itwas a good race anyway, great to start from the front and tobe able to decide what movements to make. Motegi is up next,an important race because it´s my home. The place I mostwant to win.”

Results
1

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
V. Rossi

M. Tamada
A. Barros
S. Gibernau
C. Checa
J. Hopkins
L. Capirossi
T. Bayliss
C. Edwards
N. Abe
S. Nakano
J. McWilliams
A. Hofman
K. Roberts
N. Aoki
Yamaha

Honda
Honda
Honda
Yamaha
Suzuki
Ducati
Ducati
Honda
Yamaha
Kawasaki
Aprilia
Kawasaki
Suzuki
Proton KR
ITA

JPN
BRA
ESP
ESP
USA
ITA
AUS
USA
JPN
JPN
GBR
GER
USA
JPN
46′ 34.911

+5.111
+8.157
+8.312
+17.966
+18.631
+23.670
+25.126
+25.611
+26.727
+44.704
+50.511
+54.372
+59.518
+1′ 32.853
Fastest Race Lap:
Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. Total Time
1 V. Rossi Yamaha ITA 1′ 39.189
Championship standings MotoGP
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
Valentino Rossi
Sete Gibernau
Max Biaggi
Colin Edwards
Alex Barros
Carlos Checa
Makato Tamada
Loris Capirossi
Nicky Hayden
Marco Melandri
Norick Abe
Shinya Nakano
Ruben Xaus
Troy Bayliss
Kenny Roberts
Yamaha
Honda
Honda
Honda
Honda
Yamaha
Honda
Ducati
Honda
Yamaha
Kawasaki
Ducati
Ducati
Suzuki
ITA
ESP
ITA
USA
BRA
ESP
JPN
ITA
USA
ITA
JPN
JPN
ESP
AUS
USA
209
180
158
111
102
93
89
84
83
64
55
46
46
42
37
Manufacturers standings MotoGP
1

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Honda

Yamaha
Ducati
Suzuki
Kawasaki
Aprilia
Proton KR
Harris WCM
Moriwaki
245

224
103
58
51
29
9
8
2