Estoril: Mahindra rider Marcel Schrotter overcame first-lap problems to secure a solid top-20 finish in Monday's Portuguese GP. (Agencies)
Schrotter finished 19th but team-mate Danny Webb succumbed to a small but costly problem and was forced to retire after only eight of the 23 laps of the 4.182-km Estoril circuit.
His problem was a split radiator hose – the most minor of peripheral components. Webb was 18th on the grid, and had high hopes of a top-15 points-scoring finish.
"We have been working to achieve reliability, so it is a pity that a small low-cost component like this should stop Danny," said team manager Nicola Casadei.
By contrast, Schrotter's bike didn't miss a beat. He had qualified 23rd, but a slow getaway put him 28th at the end of the first lap. By the finish he had picked his way through to 19th, well ahead of the group behind him, but with those ahead still out of reach.
The race was won by German rider Sandro Cortese (KTM).
"My start was good but as I went up through the gears it seemed to lose power and five or six riders went past. I had the same thing at the last race, it is something we must fix.
"After that it was difficult, because I was with slower riders who held me up on the corners, but were a bit faster on the straights. Eventually I got ahead. After that I was alone, keeping a constant gap behind me, but with the others too far in front," said Schrotter.
Webb was disappointed with the way the race panned out for him.
"Sometimes you have days like this. I had high hopes for the race, and the bike has been running well ... Then a little ten-cent component failed. As you can imagine, I'm not happy. We've been improving steadily, so I don't think we deserved this."
Estoril: Mahindra rider Marcel Schrotter overcame first-lap problems to secure a solid top-20 finish in Monday's Portuguese GP.