Dani Pedrosa claims his first win of the season at a wet Japanese MotoGP, while late drama saw Jorge Lorenzo lose second place to team-mate and title rival Valentino Rossi.
Lorenzo dominated the first half of the race, with Rossi three-seconds behind. But both Yamaha riders began to struggle with front tyre wear, leaving them defenseless against a charging Pedrosa.
Rossi stuck with the Honda rider as he closed down Lorenzo, the Italian taking second place when the #99 ran wide with 5 laps to go.
Rossi's championship lead has now grown from 14 to 18 points with three rounds to go.
Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez was racing for teh first time surgery on a fracture to his left hand, sustained in a mountain bike accident. Lorenzo had sprained his left shoulder in a minibike accident.
Factory test riders Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha) and Takumi Takahashi (Honda) were making wild-card appearances for their home round, with countryman Kousuke Akiyoshi in place of the injured Karel Abraham...
1. Dani Pedrosa
ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 46m 50.767s
2. Valentino Rossi
ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 46m 59.340s
3. Jorge Lorenzo
ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 47m 2.894s
4. Marc Marquez
ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 47m 18.608s
5. Andrea Dovizioso
ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 47m 25.852s
6. Cal Crutchlow
GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 47m 28.030s
7. Bradley Smith
GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 47m 28.434s
8. Katsuyuki Nakasuga
JPN Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 47m 35.421s
9. Hector Barbera
ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 47m 39.339s
10. Scott Redding
GBR Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 47m 40.888s
11. Aleix Espargaro
ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 47m 51.302s
12. Takumi Takahashi
JPN Team HRC (RC213V) 47m 51.978s
13. Nicky Hayden
USA Aspar MotoGP Team (RC213V-RS) 48m 2.028s
14. Yonny Hernandez
COL Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 48m 4.663s
15. Mike Di Meglio
FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 48m 6.188s
16. Alvaro Bautista
ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 48m 11.274s
17. Eugene Laverty
IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (RC213V-RS)* 48m 21.991s
18. Stefan Bradl
GER Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 48m 37.600s
19. Kousuke Akiyoshi
JPN AB Motoracing (RC213V-RS) 48m 50.839s
20. Toni Elias
SPA Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) +1 lap
ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) DNF
AUS LCR Honda (RC213V-RS)* DNF
ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* DNF
FRA Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha)* DNF
ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) DNF
ITA Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) DNF
Blue Name = Factory - Official MotoGP ECU hardware, unique manufacturer software.
20 litres of race fuel, 5 engine changes for the season. All engines identical throughout the year within the same team (development freeze).
Black Name = Factory (with concessions) - Official MotoGP ECU hardware, unique manufacturer software.
Applicable to Factory entries by a manufacturer that did not achieve a dry win in 2013 (Ducati) or any new MotoGP manufacturers (Suzuki and Aprilia).
22 litres of race fuel for Ducati, 24 litres for Suzuki and Aprilia. Same 12 engine changes, softer rear tyre, no engine development freeze and extra testing opportunities as the Open Category. Fuel and soft tyre can change depending on top three results.
Red Name = Open - Full official MotoGP ECU, hardware and software.
24 litres of race fuel, 12 engine changes, softer rear tyre, no engine development freeze and greater testing opportunities relative to Factory.
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