Estoril has hosted the Portuguese Grand Prix for the past 12 years and has seen some magnificent races, but which rider will be lucky in race number 13?
Looking back over the 12 races to date there have been plenty of highlights: Valentino Rossi's domination of the GP from 2001 to 2004, Jorge Lorenzo's three-year winning streak, and Dani Pedrosa's victory last season. But one Portuguese GP stands out in particular.
The penultimate round of the 2006 MotoGP season doled out an edge-of-the-seat spectacle that fans will never forget.
Going into that race on October 15, 2006, Nicky Hayden led the championship by 12 points, with the defending world champion Valentino Rossi trailing him in second. Things were finely poised, then, when Rossi shot straight into the lead at the start, with team-mate Colin Edwards tucked in behind him by lap three. Honda team-mates Hayden and Dani Pedrosa were close on his tail too.
Lap five, however, turned into one of the most dramatic of the season when Pedrosa and Hayden crashed out. As he approached turn six, MotoGP rookie Pedrosa lost the front of his bike and the pair went down.
All wasn't lost for Hayden, though. Rossi had to fight tooth and nail against a then 23-year-old Toni Elías. The young Spaniard had the ride of his life that day and pushed the world champion all the way to the chequered flag.
Emerging from the final corner Elías slipstreamed Rossi and beat him across the line by 0.002 seconds – the joint closest finish in MotoGP since electronic timing was brought in.
It was a breathless finale and the result saw Rossi take an eight-point lead into the final round in Valencia. It wasn't to be for the Italian, though. A podium finish for Hayden, a protective fourth place from Pedrosa and a disappointing 13th for Rossi handed Hayden the 2006 title by just five points.
Just watching a clip of that race will give all MotoGP fans goosebumps. Here's hoping that Estoril 2012 is just as exciting.
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