I can't believe it
Toni Elias scored a thrilling first win in the MotoGP class at Estoril, edging out Valentino Rossi in a photo-finish after a race that saw Nicky Hayden taken out by his Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.
After an incredible battle with first Colin
Edwards and then Rossi, he beat the seven- time World Champion on a sprint down the final straight to claim victory by just two thousandths of a second.
Still third in the championship standings, Marco Melandri finished in eighth after a difficult weekend. The crash he suffered on Friday spoiled the race preparation.
Despite the hard work with the team and Michelin, Melandri couldn't find the good feeling. He looks forward to Valencia to defend his third position in the championship with a great race.
TONI ELIAS (1st):
"It's incredible, I can't believe it. I am really happy. It was a very hard race, really hard. I made a good start and over the first few laps felt very comfortable on the bike. I was behind Colin and realised that he was holding me up, so I pushed hard to get past him. I pushed until I closed up on Valentino and then passed him to lead a MotoGP race for the very first time. The next lap I made three errors all at once and I decided not to risk too much by trying to get past him again at that stage. I felt very comfortable at the first corner all race and was able to out-brake people and so I did not want to let the opportunity pass on the final lap. At no time did I give up, that's my riding style.
I want to thank the team for the great job they have done and thank all the fans that came to see the race.
MARCO MELANDRI (8th):
"It was a very difficult weekend. I started the weekend with a fall which impeded my performance. Along with my team and Michelin we worked really hard, but we couldn't find what we needed. The bike was working well but I had not enough grip to go fast. Considering that it was such a strange race and the difficulties I have had, a 8th result is not so bad. I have maintained third place in the championship and I hope to put in a good performance at Valencia. I want to congratulate Toni, it was a great win, but I also feel very sorry for Nicky.