Youichi Ui won his home GP at Motegi in dominating fashion this afternoon in Japan as the Derbi rider produced a near start to finish victory, while World Championship leader Toni Elias crashed out of contention after an early race error - leaving his young teammate Daniel Pedrosa to fight for second place with his title rival Manual Poggiali.

Pole sitter Ui had made a promising start, but lost the lead to Elias into turn one with Poggiali slotting into third ahead of Azuma as the four front row starters continued to hold the top four places.

Having followed the Spaniard for two laps, Ui made his move for the lead and gracefully passed the blue Honda as the top two started to build a gap back to Poggiali, while fourth placed Azuma was under pressure from Daniel Pedrosa - who slipped inside the home hero later on in lap 3.

By the time lap four of twenty-one had been completed the top two had become three as Poggiali put his Gilera firmly on the tail of Elias' #24, but just one lap later everything would change.

First Nobby Ueda fell nastily over the front of his TSR Honda at the exit of turn one, his bike then tangling with others, namely Max Sabbatani, who crashed heavily from his Aprilia.

Almost as soon as that spectacular chain of events had been completed, World Championship leader Elias high-sided nastily from his Honda while midway around the right hand turn that precedes the Oval circuit underpass.

The 18 year old hit the ground heavily and slid into the gravel where Marshall's rushed to his aid. Fortunately, it appeared that Elias' injuries were as much due to mental disappointment than physical harm, as he handed title rival Poggiali second place in the race - just one place ahead of his teammate Pedrosa, while Ui continued to hold station up front.

By lap eight Ui held a 2secs lead over Poggiali, who now had to deal with increasing pressure from Pedrosa, while a 4secs gap lay between the 16 year old and fourth placed rider Lucio Cecchinello.

Over the next few laps it was clear that Pedrosa was revelling in his new found confidence after Valencia, and with the Telefonica teams hopes now firmly on his young shoulders, the Spaniard doggedly hung onto the rear of Poggiali's Gilera eager to deny his teammates main rival of vital championship points as the last laps approached.

Into the last two laps and the order at the front remained: Ui from Poggiali, Pedrosa, Cecchinello, Azuma, Talmacsi, Giansanti and Scalvini.

All these were relatively spread out though (Ui had a five second lead), leaving all attention focused on the fierce fight for second between Poggiali and Pedrosa, who were just 0.2secs apart, with Pedrosa apparently waiting for his moment to strike.

Poggiali reacted to the threat by punching out some very quick sector times to try and shake off the Honda. However, it would be to no avail and Pedrosa was still in contact as the pair began their last lap.

Such was the pairs pace that they cut Ui's lead to 2.7secs as the entered turn one for the final time, but Ui appeared to be pacing himself and Poggiali was instead looking back for Pedrosa.

The Honda rider attempted to out brake the Gilera at the end of the back straight - but Poggiali held firm to take a 12 point lead over Elias in the standings, while Pedrosa collected his second podium finish in as many races.

Full results to follow...

1. Ui
2. Poggiali +1.004secs
3. Pedrosa +1.129secs
4. Cecchinello +12.109secs
5. Azuma +23.147secs
6. Talmacsi +28.345secs
7. Giansanti +28.387secs
8. Borsoi +29.678secs



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