As the battle for the 250cc World Title put off until Valencia
Alex De Angelis was the best Aprilia rider in the Portugal GP where he conquered his 10th podium of the 2006 season with a solid 3rd place.
"I am very satisfied with my place," said De Angelis, "but I
ultimately lost the chance to attack Aoyama (who finished 2nd behind Dovizioso) due to a small hiccup at the end of the last big curve before the straightaway. It is the best season of my life, 10 podiums in 15 races; I think I am the most consistent rider in the category. Due to today's changing meteorological conditions, we changed tyres but that turned out to not help me. Today's result helps me maintain and reinforce my 3rd place in the international classification."
De Angelis' improved throughout the race; he started from 6th place in the second group, a position he obtained after the second rotation of Saturday's official trials. Alex was immediately able to insert himself in the top group led by Roberto Locatelli who took off from the pole position and led for ¾ of the race.
Locatelli and his RSVLE handled the group of battle-hardened riders composed of Jorge Lorenzo (of Fortuna Aprilia), Alex De Angelis, Dovizioso, and Aoyama. However, his motorcycle began to slip just a few laps from the finish and he thus had to settle for 4th place behind De Angelis. The ex-125 world champion was still satisfied with the weekend of extremely positive racing that began with a pole and ended just a pass away from the podium.
Jorge Lorenzo and Hector Barbera's weekend instead did not live up to expectations.
Lorenzo, battling for the world championship, lost 14 points of advantage on Dovizioso with his 5th place as his rival won the race ahead of Aoyama. Hector Barbera instead lost control of his bike at the grip of the left area of the track's exit and ended up on the ground. He did, however, get back on his motorcycle and finish out the race in 10th place.
After the Portugal GP, the battle for the 250 riders' title will be taken up again in Valencia. Lorenzo is still the leader in the classification with 276 points while Dovizioso follows him with 263. The constructors' title was already won by Aprilia thanks to Alex De Angelis' 2nd place at Japan with three races left to go in the season.