Defeated by Alvaro Bautista in the 125cc World Championship battle last weekend, Mika Kallio claimed a modicum of revenge over his rival with a last gasp overtaking manoeuvre at Motegi on Sunday.
The KTM rider and the Spaniard were fighting amongst themselves in familiar scenes from this season, and Kallio was able to make his final pass stick and extend his lead just enough to take the chequered flag first.
Kallio's fellow KTM rider Julian Simon also managed to stave off a Master MVA Aspar team attack, as he took a podium spot ahead of Mattia Pasini. Lukas Pesek and Hector Faubel completed the top six, ahead of highest finishing local rider Tomoyoshi Koyama and the spectacular Bradley Smith.
The British rookie took a fantastic eighth, his best performance of the season, and was the highest finishing Honda rider on his debut at the Honda owned Motegi track.
"The team told me it was just inexperience that kept me out of seventh place after I swapped positions with Koyama a couple of times on the last lap," said the 15-year-old schoolboy. "I made a mistake but still thought I might be able to pass him on the last bend but it did not quite work. It was a great result especially after the slow start on Friday morning in practice. I get home early on Tuesday morning and it's back to school on Wednesday."
After Sergio Gadea crashed out on the final lap, Nico Terol managed to sneak into the top ten behind Gabor Talmacsi.
125cc top ten – Japanese Grand Prix:
1. Kallio (KTM)
2. Bautista (Aprilia) +0.185secs
3. Simon (KTM) +7.769secs
4. Pasini (Aprilia) +7.907secs
5. Pesek (Derbi) +7.924secs
6. Faubel (Aprilia) +8.078secs
7. Koyama (Malaguti) +22.782secs
8. Smith (Honda) +22.911secs
9. Talmacsi (Honda) +23.192secs
10. Terol (Derbi) +32.403secs