Brazilian Alex Barros took his first win since 2001 in this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix, after long-time race leader Sete Gibernau crashed out of the lead.

Brazilian Alex Barros took his first win since 2001 in this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix, after long-time race leader Sete Gibernau crashed out of the lead.

Though Barros started the race from pole position, Gibernau led from the start. The Spaniard’s inclusion in the line-up had been in doubt earlier last week after he had sustained an injury to his left shoulder in a daring move towards the end of the Spanish Grand Prix.

Gibernau was in control of the race until it started raining on the eighth lap and riders were given the option of continuing or pulling into the pits for their spare bikes, already fitted with wet tyres.

Gibernau crashed at the end of the straight on lap 17, with a one-second advantage over Barros and an 11-second advantage over his main rival, Valentino Rossi. Barros, who had been quickest in qualifying, assumed the lead and went on to record his first win since 2001.

“We've taken every session here, pole position and victory too. This morning the conditions were difficult, and in the warm-up we went out on wet tyres but the track wasn't that damp. The race was even more complicated. The track was virtually dry at the beginning but then there were a few drops.

“There was a moment when Sete took a bit of an advantage, then he slowed and I caught up. I began to push, trying to put pressure on him even though I could feel the raindrops on my helmet and on the bike. Then he lost the front end and crashed out.

“Valentino pushed me hard at the end, and though I tried to respond, I lost a few seconds on the last laps - but only because I was preparing my celebrations! I made a strike today, I'm unbelievably happy!”

Rossi, happy with second in these conditions, said: “To make it worth changing bikes we need more water on the track, because you lose too much time coming into the pits; maybe 40 or 50 seconds. So we needed to continue with slicks, and riding a MotoGP bike on slicks in the wet is not the greatest feeling! But I take home 20 points, which are very important for the championship.”

Max Biaggi finished third, after shadowing Rossi for most of the race, while Marco Melandri finished fourth. Colin Edwards, who had been involved in a long battle with Melandri, fell off his bike, but remounted to finish sixth.

Nicky Hayden, Shinya Nakano, Loris Capirossi and Ruben Xaus completed the top ten.

Original article from Car