Marco Simoncelli has extended his 250cc World Championship lead by winning Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.

The Italian lost out to Alex Debon into turn one, but was back in front by the end of the first lap - where he ultimately remained at the chequered flag.

Nevertheless, Mapfre Aspar Aprilia's Alvaro Bautista made his way steadily forwards and took second position just after the halfway stage of the 23 laps.

The Spaniard looked set to mount a serious victory attack as he closed to within 0.3secs of Simoncelli's Metis Gilera with three laps to go - but was held up by a backmarker, allowing Simoncelli the breathing room he needed to secure his fourth victory of the season and Dunlop's 200th.

Simoncelli, who began the race 26 points clear of Mika Kallio, will start the final three rounds of the championship 32 points in front of new nearest rival Bautista, after Kallio finished a lonely fifth on his factory KTM.

Race results - Motegi:

1. Simoncelli (Gilera)
2. Bautista (Aprilia) +0.348secs
3. Debon (Aprilia) +8.414secs
4. Simon (KTM) +9.151secs
5. Kallio (KTM) +17.041secs
6. Takahashi (Honda) +19.632secs
7. Espargaro (Aprilia) +19.892secs
8. Pasini (Aprilia) +20.442secs
9. Aoyama (KTM) +22.303secs
10. Locatelli (Gilera) +22.387secs



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