Capirossi will leave Ducati at the end of this season, after struggling to replicate his 990cc success with the smaller-engined Desmosedici, but gave the Italian factory a reminder of his talent with a clever victory in the wet/dry Japanese Grand Prix - in which he timed his pit stop to perfection.

Capirossi was one of the first riders to switch, at the end of lap nine of 24, and his strategy paid rich dividends as the 2005 and 2006 Japanese GP winner stormed to a 10.853secs victory over closet rival Randy de Puniet.

"We struggled a lot this weekend and only yesterday did we find a better set-up solution," said Loris, who had qualified in eighth. "When I woke this morning and saw the rain I said 'wow, for sure this is going to be a difficult day'. We didn't know which would be the best tyres to use, so we started with medium rain tyres.

"At first it was really difficult, so I decided to pit early, and for sure my tactic was the best because I won my third consecutive race here, it's a great moment for me," he continued. "It's also a great day for Casey, for Ducati and for the team. I congratulate Casey, he's a really strong rider, I'm very happy for him."

Capirossi, who has now won seven races for Ducati over the last five seasons, will join Suzuki next year and be replaced by Marco Melandri.