Estoril : Team LCR - Preview
As the countdown begins for the end of the MotoGP season, the Honda LCR team and Casey Stoner are back in winning territory for the Portuguese Grand Prix.
This race is the 16th of 17 rounds, with the season finale set for Valencia later this
month. The LCR team and Stoner combined to win the 250cc GP at Estoril in 2005, and now return to Portugal in the premier class with Honda's awesome V5-powered MotoGP bike. Stoner's 250 victory came on day of varying weather, with the Atlantic coast often producing an unpredictable combination of dry, windy and wet conditions.
For this race renovations have been made to the 4.18 km circuit, including two sections of new tarmac -- from turn one to turn three, plus repair work from the uphill hairpin (turn 9) to the start/finish straight. The uphill chicane has also been widened on the exit. Honda's RC211V has always been a strong performer at Estoril with Brazilian rider Alex Barros winning this race last year.
"The two weeks holiday after the Japan GP have been really relaxing," said Casey Stoner.
"I've spent time hanging out at my parents farm and finally teaching my girlfriend to ride a horse!"
"Estoril and Valencia are two tracks I've had success at in the past, so hopefully I will have a chance to make up for recent races, Philip Island Motegi, that did not go to plan," he added. "In Australia the rain came and the race was one lap shorter than normal, just as I was closing on a chance at the podium. And in Japan, with the bike set-up I had in practice, I should have had a good result, but it wasn't to be in the race. Honda has done well at Estoril in the past so I'm hoping we can find a comfortable set-up early and be on the pace."