Race Report: Portuguese GP – 250cc – 13/04/08
(*Source: Aspar Media)
Álvaro Bautista set his stall out for the Grand Prix of Portugal by setting the fastest time in warm-up before annihilating the opposition in the race. The Mapfre Aspar team rider dived into an early lead and within two laps he’d already opened out a second over his closest rival Marco Simoncelli. Álvaro gathered momentum as the race went on, setting the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1’41.425.
The victory provided a turnaround in fortunes for Aprilia’s number one rider, who made it third time lucky after an unfortunate opening two rounds with his third consecutive victory in all classes at the Portuguese track. For “Bati” this was also his eleventh Grand prix win overall and his third in the 250 class.
It proved to be a happy morning all round for the Mapfre Aspar Team in what is almost a home race, Héctor Faubel keeping his promise to grit his teeth from the start as he charged up to eighth place on the first lap. Faubel battled with fellow rookie Lukas Pesek to take ninth place and a valuable top ten finish.
1st Álvaro Bautista:
“Estoril is like a home race now – I’ve won here three times but this is the most important one for me. We’ve had some really bad luck recently, we’ve worked well but for one reason or another it hasn’t converted into results. This win gives myself and the whole team a lift because we needed a result like this to show we can run at the front again. The race was tough because the track conditions were different to how they were in practice – it rained last night and there were a couple of damp patches where the grip wasn’t the same. When I got away at the front I was able to get some good reference points and set my pace, escaping from Simoncelli. With a few laps left it started to drizzle in the chicane so I dropped my pace because the advantage was big enough for me not to take any risks. Now I want to keep this going and continue to win races.”
9th Héctor Faubel:
“I’m really happy because this is the first time this season I’ve had fun in a race. We’ve done a great job with Aprilia all weekend and I felt comfortable riding. At the start Simón, Pesek, Barberá and myself got in each other’s way and that allowed the front group to escape. I’m really pleased to come out of it with this result, especially because now we go to China, a circuit I like and where I tend to do well. Let’s see if we can take another step forward there.”