Sebastian Porto - 2006 Rider Profile
2006 Rider Profiles
Career highlights and biography;
Date of birth: September 12th, 1978
Place of birth: Rafaela, Argentina
First race: 1983 Argentinean Bicycle Championship
First podium finish: 2002 German Grand Prix, 250cc
First Grand Prix: 1994 Argentinean Grand Prix, 125cc
First pole position: 2002 Portuguese Grand Prix, 250cc
First fastest lap: 2002 Brazilian Grand Prix, 250cc
First Grand Prix victory: 2002 Brazilian Grand Prix, 250cc
Pole positions: 11
1 in 2002: POR
1 in 2003: GER
9 in 2004: ESP/ITA/NED/BRA/GER/CZE/QAT/MAL/AUS
Podium finishes: 19
5 in 2002: GER/CZE/POR/BRA/AUS
10 in 2004: RSA/ITA/NED/GER/ING/CZE/POR/QAT/MAL/AUS
4 in 2005: SPA/NED/MAL/AUS
Victories: 5 in 2004: ITA/NED/ZHE/QAT/AUS. 1 in 2005: NED
1983: Argentinean Junior Bicycle Champion
1988: Argentinean Minibike Championship (Delviso)
1991: Argentinean Dirt-Track Champion (Kawasaki 50cc)
1992: Argentinean Dirt-Track Champion (Yamaha 125cc)
1993: 2nd Argentinean 250 GP Championship (Yamaha)
1994: Argentinean 250 GP Champion (Yamaha)
1995: 14th Spanish 250 GP Open Championship (Aprilia)
1996: 19th 250 World Championship (Aprilia)
European 250 GP Champion (Aprilia)
1997: 11th 250 GP World Championship (Aprilia)
1998: 22nd 250 GP World Championship (Aprilia)
2000: 9th 250 GP World Championship (Yamaha)
2001: 16th 250 GP World Championship (Yamaha)
2002: 5th 250 GP World Championship (Yamaha)
2003: 8th 250 GP World Championship (Honda)
2004: Runner-up 250 GP World Championship (Aprilia)
2005: 6th 250 GP World Championship (Aprilia)
Before getting on a bike, the Argentinean Sebastián Porto, used to ride bicycles, ever since he was a little kid. Between the age of four and eight he was racing in children's categories and at the age of five he had already won the Argentinean Junior Road Cycling Championship. At the age of 8 he had to quit racing because of a serious asthma problem that kept him two years away from sports.
In late 1987, the ten-year-old Sebastián decided to take part in a dirt-track race held in his hometown, Rafaela, in the Argentinean province of Santa Fe. It was one of the rounds of the Argentinean Dirt Track Championship, a very popular sport in Argentina. On a rented bike and with hardly any experience, Sebastián Porto finished the last race of the season on third place, in the Minibike class. That was the moment he discovered his passion for motorbikes and the young Sebastián Porto decided to enter the Argentinean Dirt Track Championship. Riding a Delviso 50, Sebastián got the Junior Championship in his first try. The next year, 1998, his family bought a similar bike to race the National Oval Championship, in the 50cc class. Once again, Sebastián clinched the title, a title he got again a year later, in 1990, in the same class.
In 1991, Sebastián Porto changed class, moving up to the 100cc, still in dirt track. He rode a national bike, no make, but already with a gearbox. This time Sebastián qualifies among the top fifteen riders of his class, but he got the title in 1992.
Despite having the possibility to keep on climbing classes in dirt track, in 1992 Porto got the chance to participate in road racing and decided to take it.
In 1993 Sebastián entered the Suzuki Cup on a Suzuki RGV 250 street bike. He took part in two races and showed his potential right from the beginning taking the pole in the first race. However, a crash in the second lap of the race, while he was in the lead, hindered him from fighting for the title. In the next race, Porto finished second fastest of the practices and took the victory of the race.
It became evident that Sebastián had a special talent for road races and Reinaldo Cozzani, promoter of the Argentinean Grand Prix gave him the opportunity to try luck on a Yamaha TZ 250 in the 250 GP National Championship. Sebastián accepted the challenge, left the Suzuki Cup and, without hardly any experience, got a victory and a second place the same year, finishing 250cc runner-up with two races less than his race mates.
One year later, in 1994, Porto was crowned in that category of the Argentinean Championship with a Yamaha, and Cozzani decided that he was ready to race outside his country. First, Cozzani got a Wild Card entry for the 125 Argentinean Grand Prix with an Aprilia RS. Porto qualified among the top fifteen but had to retire the race after crashing. It's been his only race in the minor GP category.
The next step, after taking part in some of the Argentinean Championship races, was moving to Spain with the PR2 team, where he took part in the last two races of the contended Open Ducados Championship in the 250cc class, with an Aprilia RS. Porto established himself in the PR2 team for the 1996 season, combining his presence in the European 250cc Championship, where he won six out of eighth races and clinched the title, with the World Championship, where he stood out as one of the fastest riders of his class, finishing twice among the top ten and getting the nineteenth overall position.
In 1997, still with the PR2 team, Porto focussed on the World Championship, finishing eleventh overall, riding an Aprilia RSV 250. The next year he repeated bike, this time supported by Marlboro, but he had several mechanical problems, so one year later he changed over to Yamaha, finally finishing ninth overall of the 250cc World Championship.
In 2000, Porto became the best private rider of the class. In 2001 mechanical problems followed him once again, especially after the first half of the season. In 2002 Sebastián Porto managed to get his first podium, first pole position and first victory in the World Championship on a Yamaha TZM 250, finishing fifth overall.
For the 2003 season, thanks to the support of YPF, Honda and Alberto Puig, Sebastián counted on the necessary means to aspire to fight for the class title. But his Honda RSW was always one step behind the Aprilias, a fact that hindered him from fighting for the title. Three fourth places and one pole in the German GP were the best results of a season he had started as an aspirant for the title and finished eighth overall.
When he got the opportunity to change to Aprilia, Sebastián Porto had no doubt at all and signed for the Noale factory as official rider for 2004. Sponsored by Repsol, the Argentinean became part of the team managed by Jorge Martínez Aspar. His quick adaptation to the Aprilia during the first tests, where he lapped much faster than the best clocks of the World Championship, confirmed his options to fight for the 250cc World Championship title.
The 2004 season had a spectacular start in South Africa, where Sebastián made one of the best races of his sports career, impressively recovering after getting off the track and finishing third. Everything was pointing to a good season for the experimented Repsol rider. The first victory came in Mugello, Aprilia's home circuit, where he not only set the pole but also fought neck and neck against his rivals until the very end. In "the motorcycling cathedral" of Assen, Porto took again pole and victory, the leadership had got closer. But the Brazilian GP meant a major setback because he was forced to retire due to an engine breakdown while being third. Two consecutive second places in Germany and Great Britain allowed him to regain confidence before the next victory he achieved in Brno. The reliability and competitiveness of the Aprilia improved significantly in the second half of the Championship. The Argentinean rider passed De Puniet in the overall standings, placing himself second after the pole and victory in the Qatar Grand Prix. But the second place in Malaysia und the victory in the Australian GP could not avoid Dani Pedrosa from finally taking the World Championship title of the class. The last race of the season, in Valencia, had a bittersweet taste for the Repsol rider. He couldn't finish the race because a failure of the gearbox made him crash while being second. But both his team and himself finished the year fully satisfied after a great season and the Vice-World Championship, with nine pole positions, five victories and five fastest laps.
In the 2005 season Sebastián was not able to equal the impressive result of the previous year, especially due to several crashes and countless mechanical problems. Despite all difficulties, Porto took the victory in the "Cathedral" Assen (Holland). However the Repsol rider was only able to get on the podium three times in his tenth season in the World Championship: in Jerez (2nd), Malaysia (3rd) and Australia (2nd). A year to forget for the Argentinean rider.
Sebastián Porto will try to recover this year and fight again for the title against his main rivals, although he knows that it won't be an easy job, because the 2006 season in the quarter-of-a-litre class is looking really exciting and contended. But Sebastián Porto's large experience and his tireless and hard-working character turn this 27-year-old rider into a firm candidate for the 2006 World Championship title.
Technical details of Sebastian Porto´s Honda RS250RW;
Overall length: 1,960 mm.
Overall width: 640 mm.
Overall height: 1,090 mm.
Wheelbase: 1,350 mm.
Road clearance: 110 mm.
Weight: Over 100 Kg.
Engine type: liquid-cooled two-stroke crankcase reed valve V-2
Displacement: 250 cc.
Maximum power: Over 90 PS
Frame type: Twin-tube in aluminium
Front: Telescopic fork
Fuel tank capacity: 21 l.