Motegi MotoGP Video
Click video to see highlights of the 2010 MotoGP Road Racing World Championshion Grand Prix in Motegi (Japan).
The real excitement in the Grand Prix was drawn from Fiat Yamaha teammates Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo’s intense battle for the final spot on the podium.
After they swapping paint, as they jostled for position, the battle ended with the reigning World Champion VR46 finishing ahead of the champion-elect.
As at Aragón, Stoner got a fast start and took the lead on the opening lap and quickly settled into a rhythm much higher than he had shown in practice.
He traded fast laps in the early stages with Dovizioso, who had from pole for the first time in the premier class and stuck with him for the early stages.
Lorenzo hinted at what was to come as he passed Rossi to assume third, but that was just the start of the duo’s enthralling contest.
Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) ran off at turn five together on only the second lap as they dropped down the order, whilst rookie Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) pitted their wits against one another in the push for fifth.
Stoner began to open up a slender lead over Dovizioso which eventually became a full second with just seven laps remaining, while further down the order Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) was forced to retire when his bike seemingly stalled as he ran wide alongside team-mate Álvaro Bautista in the chase for seventh place.
With Stoner assured of victory and Dovizioso returning to the podium after an eight-race stint without a top-three finish, Rossi and Lorenzo locked horns in the kind of battle that demonstrates there is little in the way of team orders at Yamaha.
Repeatedly pushing one another the pair clashed bikes with two laps to go as they fought side-by-side in a rousing finale to the race.
Victory for Stoner came by a margin of 3.868s and Dovizioso’s fifth podium of the season – his first since Silverstone – was also confirmed.
Rossi managed to hold his own in third place and score a seventh rostrum result of 2010, and in the process ensure that Lorenzo finished outside the top three for the second successive race.
In the absence of the injured Dani Pedrosa, who crashed out of the first QP at Motegi, Lorenzo’s lead at the top of the Championship was extended to 69 points and if Pedrosa fails to make the Malaysian round, Lorenzo needs just a tenth place finish to assure himself of his maiden MotoGP crown.
Edwards won his personal scrap with Simoncelli to post a season’s best result of fifth, with the Italian sixth and Bautista seventh.
Ben Spies, Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) completed the top ten.
Casey Stoner followed up his first win of the season at Aragón with a second victory at the Grand Prix of Japan today, with pole-sitter Andrea Dovizioso second and Valentino Rossi in third.
It was another strong performance from the Ducati rider, who many felt would be unable to challenge at the front today.
Stoner took the lead in turn two after having started the race from third on the grid and then coolly managed a half-second gap to Dovizioso throughout the majority of the 24-lap race.