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Capirossi wins Motegi, Rossi torpedoes Melandri.

After two intense laps the plan worked and Max was soon left around one-second from the #65, an advantage Capirossi would keep until he wheelied over the line to celebrate Ducati's second ever MotoGP victory - at the home of the Italian manufacturer's mighty Japanese rivals.

Biaggi duly claimed top Michelin honours and strengthened his second position in the championship, while Tamada - who had been a lonely third since the Melandri/Rossi collision - claimed a breakthrough first podium of 2005 for the Japanese sponsored Konica Minolta Honda team.

The second factory Ducati of Carlos Checa took fourth ahead of Suzuki's John Hopkins - the #21 successfully holding off countryman Colin Edwards by less than two-seconds, while the other Americans - Nicky Hayden and Kenny Roberts - took seventh and eighth.

A large number of DNFs helped Tech 3 team-mates Toni Elias and Ruben Xaus claim ninth and tenth, while WCM's Franco Battaini was the eleventh and final finisher.

Of the non-finishes, Kawasaki's Shinya Nakano retired with engine failure - the frustrated Japanese dropping the machine after stopping it in the gravel following his second mechanical in as many days - while team-mate Alex Hofmann collided with D'Antin's Roberto Rolfo.

Both Camel Honda's also failed to finish, while Moriwaki wild-card Naoki Matsudo didn't complete his first MotoGP race lap. The second Blata WCM of James Ellison didn't start the race due to the elbow injuries sustained in testing after Brno.

In terms of the championship, Rossi's first DNF of the season sees his title lead over Biaggi reduced from 132-points to 112 - with five rounds, and 125-points, to go - while Capirossi has advanced to fourth in the standings.

The Malaysian Grand Prix will take place next weekend.

Full results to follow...

Japanese Grand Prix:

1. Capirossi
2. Biaggi
3. Tamada
4. Checa
5. Hopkins
6. Edwards
7. Hayden
8. Roberts
9. Elias
10. Xaus
11. Battaini

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Biaggi 2nd, Capirossi 1st, Tamada 3rd, Japanese MotoGP 2005
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Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
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