Following a long layoff through September, the MotoGP season will resume proceedings as it heads into the Grande Premio de Portugal, this weekend. As we have been accustomed to seeing over the past few years, Valentino Rossi again heads into the weekend at the top of the charts while his teammate, Jorge Lorenzo looks to challenge him for the championship title. >
If the previous round at Misano is anything to go by, it is evident that Lorenzo will not let Rossi walk away with the race win however, the Estoril circuit has been kind to “The Doctor” and Rossi will look to retain his winning form in Portugual. Last season’s race winner, Jorge Lorenzo, will be confident that he can pose a threat to Rossi’s clear run at the top of the standings.
Having reduced the lead at the top of the standings to just 30 points, Lorenzo will be hoping to get a favourable result and cut down the Italian’s advantage in a hectic part of the season.
Daniel Pedrosa will also be a strong candidate for a podium finish although his ability to challenge Rossi or Lorenzo for the win can be doubted. The Repsol Honda man has been in familiar territory this season after finishing the 2008 season in a similar place, although behind Casey Stoner.>
Speaking of the Aussie, all eyes will be on Casey Stoner who will be returning to the circuit after a long layoff that saw him miss three MotoGP rounds at Brno, Indianapolis and finally at Misano. Stoner was undergoing treatment for fatigue and a stomach ailment, and will be returning to the tracks after a long lay-off.
That layoff, though, hasn’t hampered his chances in the standings and although he is, in all likelihood, out of the reckoning for the title, second or third spot is still up for grabs as he stands fourth on the table at the moment, 7 points behind Pedrosa.
Andrea Dovizioso is another Repsol Honda rider who has been having a great season so far. The Italian is 5th on the standings and has always been there or thereabouts throughout the season. A strong contender for a podium finish in Portugal, Dovizioso will be looking to pose a threat to third spot until the end of the season.
With some wonderful circuits to come, there is no doubt that there will be some exciting racing to be seen, especially in Portugal where Lorenzo will look to come out all-guns-blazing. >
In a race sponsored by Bwin, there is no doubt who they think the winner will be considering their 2.10 odds favouring Rossi to win. Lorenzo is an obvious second spot holder with 3.20 against his name while Pedrosa comes a distant third at 4.50.
Returning rider Casey Stoner’s ability has probably gotten him a respectable 6.0 on Bwin however, betting on Pedrosa or Stoner to win would be quite foolhardy unless you firmly believe that Rossi and Lorenzo’s bid to win the race will see them crash each other out of the race.
So with the return of MotoGP finally in view, Valentino Rossi is still touted as the number one possibility for an outright winner to the title, with odds of 1.1 stacked in favour of his win. Jorge Lorenzo, who is still very much in the title hunt, is placed at 6.0 while out of sight Dani Pedrosa lags behind with 51.0 odds to win the title.