MotoGP: Stoner Wins In Japan, Closes Second Place Gap to Pedrosa

Alistair HunterContributor IOctober 3, 2010

Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo provided lots of action.
Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo provided lots of action.Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Casey Stoner won an exciting Japanese motoGP which had plenty of action, especially for third place, which was taken by Rossi, just behind Dovizioso.

With Pedrosa out, the start was rather unpredictable, but Dovizioso followed the tactics of his teammate and got out of the first corner in first position. Stoner moved up to second, with Rossi in third and Lorenzo in fourth.

Admittedly, I wasn't expecting Dovizioso to win, but I was expecting Lorenzo to take the victory on the first turn. However, an okay start led him behind Rossi, which was going to be bad for his race.

However, in the second corner Stoner got ahead of Dovizioso, and Lorenzo went past Rossi. Spies was overtaken by Simoncelli and Capirossi, before going off with Nicky Hayden to end up in last place. Simoncelli got past Edwards for fifth.

All eyes, or at least the eyes of the TV cameras, were on championship leader Lorenzo and 2009 champion Valentino Rossi. Rossi kept trying to overtake Lorenzo, who was on an older engine, and this started to show as Lorenzo was slowly closer down.

He finally conceded fourth place to Rossi with 19 laps to go, when Rossi got ahead at the National start line at Motegi. Elsewhere, Spies got ahead of Espargaro as the American was on a much faster bike.

Randy de Puniet was eighth after a bad start, followed by Melandri and Bautista at the edge of the top ten. Spies was up to 11th.

Dovizioso started closing Stoner down, while Rossi set fastest laps to put the Italian rider under pressure.

Behind them, Edwards was behind Simoncelli and trying several moves that just didn't work. De Puniet went into a gravel trap and fell to 11th.

Bautista went ahead of Melandri, with both Suzuki riders in the top 10. On the lowest step of the podium, the battle got tighter as Lorenzo got ahead of Rossi with seven laps to go, but the Italian rider went through on the inside to retake the place.

Meanwhile, Casey Stoner started pulling away from Dovizioso, with the Honda rider's lap times falling away to the red Ducati, which almost secured victory for the Australian.

Spies moved up into ninth with a good overtaking move against Melandri. Capirossi stopped after having a good race, which lead to him being overtaken by his teammate.

Lorenzo and Rossi's fight continued, with Lorenzo getting ahead but Rossi got past again after getting very close on the inside.

After this, the fight continued on the final lap, with the moves being repeated once again, except the riders made contact, with Lorenzo's bike getting an accidental kick.

Ahead of them, Stoner won his second race in the row, followed by Dovizioso and Rossi. In fourth was Lorenzo, followed by Edwards, Simoncelli, Bautista, Spies, de Puniet and Aoyama.

Melandri was 11th, Hayden 12th, Barbera 13th, Espargaro 14th, and Kallio 15th.

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