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Page last updated at 12:51 GMT, Sunday, 4 October 2009 13:51 UK

Lorenzo wins to reduce Rossi lead

Jorge Lorenzo celebrates

Report - Lorenzo claims Portugal MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo strolled to a comfortable victory at the Portugal MotoGP while Casey Stoner produced a stunning comeback ride to finish second.

Starting from pole, Lorenzo retook the lead after losing it to Dani Pedrosa and was unchallenged to the flag.

His victory means he is now 18 points behind championship leader Valentino Rossi, who could only finish fourth.

Stoner, who has missed the last three races because of an illness, was second despite breaking a foot rest.

The Australian has spent the last two months back home undergoing tests after complaining of exhaustion and has been unable to train for five months.

"I had so many critics and so many people telling me that it was in my head," the 23-year-old Ducati rider told BBC Sport. "I never felt so bad in my life, it really ripped into me and to not be competitive like that was really a waste of time.

"To come back like this is a really good start for us and we only have to finish this season and make sure we put the bike in the right direction for next year.

"I had the strength to overtake people and it was kind of awesome. I was ready for the fight and I wanted to try and catch Jorge.

Confidence key for Lorenzo

"Unfortunately on the second lap, after I passed Dani, I broke my foot rest and it kept folding up on me all the time.

"I had no foot rest going into right hand turns and I kept dropping my knee in too far and almost losing the front. Without that we might have been able to tag on the back but in the last few laps, physically, I am not ready."

Lorenzo, however, never looked in trouble after getting back past Pedrosa early on and eventually finished 6.3 seconds clear of Stoner.

It is the Spaniard's fourth victory of the season and reduces Rossi's lead with just three races of the season to go.

"I was very confident before the race because I knew I was first in every practice," said the Yamaha rider.

"I knew that Casey could be fast and he was at the beginning of the race, I couldn't open a big gap. But it's fantastic and it's almost the perfect victory."

Pedrosa posted a new lap record of one minute 36.937 seconds as he came third.

Rossi, who failed to make the podium for the first time at Estoril in the premier class, seemed out of sorts on his Yamaha - eventually finishing 23 seconds adrift of Lorenzo.

And with his team-mate closing the gap in the rider standings, Rossi has plenty to think about ahead of the next race at Phillip Island in Australia on 18 October.

Italian Marco Simoncelli won in the 250cc race, with Hiroshi Aoyama finishing fourth to extend his championship lead to 26 points after Alvaro Bautista crashed out early on.

In the 125cc category, Britain's Bradley Smith took third place behind Spanish winner Pol Espargaro and second-placed Sandro Cortese of Germany.

Portugal MotoGP result:
1 Jorge Lorenzo (Spa) Yamaha 45 mins 35.522 secs
2 Casey Stoner (Aus) Ducati 45:41.816
3 Dani Pedrosa (Spa) Honda 45:45.411
4 Valentino Rossi (Ita) Yamaha 45:58.950
5 Colin Edwards (US) Yamaha 46:08.174
6 Toni Elias (Spa) Honda 46:11.231
7 Andrea Dovizioso (Ita) Honda 46:11.245
8 Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati 46:14.352
9 James Toseland (GB) Yamaha 46:19.615
10 Chris Vermeulen (Aus) Suzuki 46:28.385
11 Randy de Puniet (Fra) Honda 46:31.220
12 Marco Melandri (Ita) Kawasaki 46:40.037
13 Niccolo Canepa (Ita) Ducati 46:40.060
14 Gabor Talmacsi (Hun) Honda 47:02.821

Championship standings:
1 Rossi 250 points
2 Lorenzo 232
3 Pedrosa 173
4 Stoner 170
5 Dovizioso 142
6 Edwards 134
7 Loris Capirossi (Ita) Suzuki 97
8 De Puniet 93
9 Melandri 91
10 Elias 90

250cc result:

1 Marco Simoncelli (Ita) Gilera 44 mins 4.298 secs
2 Mike Di Meglio (Fra) Aprilia 44:09.615
3 Hector Barbera (Spa) Aprilia 44:09.615
4 Hiroshi Aoyama (Jpn) Honda 44:16.322
5 Jules Cluzel (Fra) Aprilia 44:18.647

250cc standings:
1 Hiroshi Aoyama (Jpn) Honda 218pts
2 Alvaro Bautista (Spa) Aprilia 192
3 Marco Simoncelli (Ita) Gilera 190
4 Hector Barbera (Spa) Aprilia 174
5 Mattia Pasini (Ita) Aprilia 128

125cc result:
1 Pol Espargaro (Spa) Derbi 41 mins 0.421 secs
2 Sandro Cortese (Ger) Derbi 41:00.815
3 Bradley Smith (GB) Aprilia 41:01.002
4 Stefan Bradl (Ger) Aprilia 41:11.469
5 Joan Olive (Spa) Derbi 41:17.251

125cc standings:
1 Julian Simon (Spa) Aprilia 214 points
2 Bradley Smith (GB) Aprilia 163.5
3 Nicolas Terol (Spa) Aprilia 152.5
4 Pol Espargaro (Spa) Derbi 129.5
5 Sergio Gadea (Spa) Aprilia 122

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see also
Matt Roberts' MotoGP column
04 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Stoner feat puts Lorenzo in shade
03 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Stoner set for Estoril comeback
29 Sep 09 |  MotoGP
Rossi eases to San Marino victory
06 Sep 09 |  MotoGP
Stoner faces three-race lay-off
10 Aug 09 |  MotoGP
Stoner mystery illness diagnosed
15 Jul 09 |  MotoGP

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