The Japanese MotoGP was a race to forget for Ducati, with Andrea Dovizioso dropping out of a podium place and team-mate Andrea Iannone's perfect points run coming to an end.

Dovizioso held third, just behind Valentino Rossi, for the opening ten laps of the wet race.

But he was already struggling with front tyre wear and would be passed by the Repsol Hondas of Dani Pedrosa - he eventual winner - and later Marc Marquez to leave Dovizioso fifth at the flag.

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"Today we didn't have such a bad race pace, but after a few laps the front tyre started to deteriorate, and I was no longer able to brake well," confirmed the Italian.

"It was a bit of a strange situation, because although everyone else probably had the same tyre wear, in my case at the start, when the track was still wet, the front was closing in all the time and I couldn't push hard.

"It was a real pity because we had good pace and I think that we could have fought for the podium. In any case we took home a fifth place in difficult conditions because it was not easy to get to the chequered flag. It was a real pity because we had a lot more potential today."

Iannone meanwhile was forced out by an engine problem, ending his record of scoring points in every race at the 15 round.

"It wasn't an easy race because already at the start my GP15's engine didn't seem to have much drive," Iannone said. "I realized that there was a problem, but I hoped that it wasn't the case.

"However when I saw that all of my rivals were passing me easily coming out of the corners and on the straight, I knew that my bike didn't have its usual performance. I tried to do the best I could, and I was trying to hold on but unfortunately I couldn't finish the race."

Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall'Igna declared: "We certainly expected a lot more from today's race. Dovizioso had a good race, riding very well in the early laps before his tyres started to go off, and this forced him to slow. Iannone's race unfortunately was ruined by an engine problem on his GP15, and we'll be trying to shed some light on that now."

Iannone still lies fourth in the overall standings, while Dovizioso drops to seventh behind Pedrosa and Bradley Smith.