With no Champions in title at the start of the season, the fight for the first laurel wreath of the Dunlop Motoval Cup in this competitive round of the Motor Clube do Estoril ended up being left to other riders on the Estoril 1 Circuit.
Among the most powerful machines, those in Class 2, Nelson Cruz was owner and master. Last season’s sixth-ranked rider went on the attack on the Yamaha R1 and made his intentions clear from the start. After being the fastest in the Freestyles and winning both Superpole races, Cruz finished the first ten competitive laps of the Dunlop Motoval Cup weekend on the top of the podium.
However, the task was not easy. Hugo Lopes, driving a BMW S1000RR, was the first to put up a fight when he jumped from second place on the grid to lead the race, but he wasn’t the only one. Rafael Ribeiro, on a Yamaha R1, also did the trick and after four laps took over the race after gradually recovering from sixth position at the end of the first lap. With a consistent pace, Ribeiro maintained the lead for four laps, at which point Cruz asserted himself again after a more modest first half of the race and in which he made a gradual recovery from fourth position in which he crossed the finish line for the first time.
In the end, Cruz triumphed with just over a second of advantage over Ribeiro, while Lopes had to settle for the lowest spot on the podium, with Rui Palma, also in a BMW S1000RR, just over a tenth of a second behind.
Ricardo Rodrigues’ life was easier in Class 1. The Yamaha R6 rider started the race at the front of the class pack after having been the strongest in Superpole2 and stood out as soon as the lights went out to lead the race from the start. end without any major problems, even going so far as to fight with Class 2 opponents.
Sérgio Fajardo (Suzuki GSXR 750) and Bernardo Aguiar (Yamaha R6) staged a lively duel from the lights out. Always with very similar times, the drivers never strayed too far from each other. Aguiar started better, taking charge of this particular race in the first six laps, but Fajardo attacked on the seventh pass across the finish line. But there were still three laps to go and Aguiar didn’t give up, responding immediately to regain second position in the class. However, Fajardo didn’t stay and increased his pace on the last lap to secure second position and, with that, relegate Aguiar to the bottom of the podium, by a mere three thousandths of a second. One of the shortest margins of the day and which clearly testifies to the quality of the duel between the two.