Pedrosa wins, Rossi extends points lead

Pedrosa wins, Rossi extends points lead

Honda’s Dani Pedrosa claimed his first MotoGP victory in more than a year, as Valentino Rossi extended his points lead at a Motegi.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 (2:59 pm)
Japanese Grand Prix polesitter Jorge Lorenzo got the jump in wet conditions, quickly building a three-second advantage over Yamaha team-mate Rossi.

As the laps ticked by, that result would have seen Lorenzo reduce Rossi’s championship lead to five points.

However, the Yamaha riders started to struggle with their front tyres on a drying circuit, Lorenzo more so than Rossi, as Pedrosa’s second-half charge began.

The Spaniard started sixth, but moved up to fourth on the first lap.

He passed Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso – who shadowed Rossi early – and quickly erased Rossi’s four-second advantage.

With nine laps remaining he passed Rossi, then Lorenzo two laps later.

Pedrosa then romped away to win by 8.753 seconds at Honda’s home circuit, his first victory since the 2014 Czech GP at Brno last August.

Lorenzo’s hard front tyre was cooked and Rossi also found his way past, finishing second, 3.554s clear.

As a result, Rossi’s points lead grows to 18 with three races remaining.

Honda’s Marc Marquez joined Lorenzo and Rossi on the front row of the grid but lost time at the start and eventually finished a lonely fourth, ahead of Dovizioso.

Cal Crutchlow was sixth, holding out fellow Brit Bradley Smith, with Yamaha wildcard Katsuyuki Nakasuga progressing from 15th to eighth.

Danilo Petrucci was typically strong in the wet, the Pramac Ducati rider moving from 17th to ninth in the early stages.

However, he crashed at out of the race at Turn 7.

In tricky conditions, crashes also accounted for Jack Miller, Maverick Vinales and Pol Espargaro, while Andrea Iannone suffered an apparent mechanical problem.


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