MotoGP 2015: Motegi race results

Valentino Rossi extends his championship lead

REPSOL Honda’s Dani Pedrosa has taken his 50th Grand Prix victory at Motegi in Japan with Valentino Rossi in second.   

The race started on time despite a two-hour delay to the morning’s warm up session, but the track remained damp meaning all riders went for wets.

Rossi took the lead into Turn 1 only for Lorenzo to take him through Turns 3 and 4 for the lead. Lorenzo had opened up a two second lead by the end of lap three.

Rossi was left to fight off the Ducati Team GP15 of Andrea Dovizioso during the early stages, but Dovizioso started to experience front tyre issues as a dry line appeared on track and began to drop back quickly.

By now Pedrosa had made his way up into fourth and was by far the fastest man on the track. On lap 11 the Spaniard passed Dovizioso as the Italian ran wide and started to chase down Rossi in second, who had a 2.7s advantage.

Lapping 1.5s faster that the two Yamahas in front of him, Pedrosa caught Rossi with nine laps to go while Lorenzo struggled with his front tyre as it started to rip to pieces.

Rossi and Pedrosa went to hunt down Lorenzo, who had a 2.7s advantage. Pedrosa overtook him on the straight before the start of lap 17 to take the lead and the race victory.

The Repsol Honda rider came from sixth on the grid to take his 27th MotoGP victory and first win since Brno in 2014 on a drying track at the Twin Ring Motegi.

Movistar Yamaha’s Rossi crossed the line in second place just over eight seconds behind Pedrosa, to take his 14th podium of the season.

Rossi has now extended his lead over his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo to 18 points in the championship standings. Lorenzo finished third despite struggling with front-tyre wear late on in the race.

Pedrosa’s team-mate Marc Marquez crossed the line in a lonely fourth place, nursing the broken bone in his left hand, over 27 seconds adrift of Pedrosa. Dovizioso, despite his tyre issues, held on to fifth.

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow came out on top by just 0.404s in an excellent battle for sixth against fellow Brit Bradley Smith on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3, to finish as the leading satellite rider.

Crutchlow passed Smith on the last lap to secure sixth, his best result since Assen. Smith crossed the line in seventh to make it 21 point-scoring finishes in a row, but dropped down to sixth in the standings, two points behind Dovizioso.

Wildcard Katsuyuki Nakasuga rode brilliantly to finish in eighth place for the Factory Yamaha Team ahead of Hector Barbera on the Avintia Racing Ducati.

Scott Redding completed the top 10 ahead of Aleix Espargaro in 11th for the Ecstar Suzuki squad.

Nicky Hayden, who will be jumping ship to World Superbikes next season, was the leading Open Class Honda in 13th, with his Irish team-mate Eugene Laverty crossing the line in 17th.

Jack Miller crashed twice during the race for the LCR Honda team and was forced to retire. 

Race results:

1. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team 46:50.767
2. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 46:59.340 (+8.573)
3. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 47:02.894 (+12.127)
4. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team 47:18.608 (+27.841)
5. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team 47:25.852 (+35.085)
6. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda 47:28.030 (+37.263)
7. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 47:28.434 (+37.667)
8. Katsuyuki Nakasuga JPN Yamaha Factory Racing 47:35.421 (+44.654)
9. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing 47:39.339 (+48.572)
10. Scott Redding GBR Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 47:40.888 (+50.121)
11. Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar 47:51.302 (+1:00.535)
12. Takumi Takahashi JPN Team HRC 47:51.978 (+1:01.211)
13. Nicky Hayden USA Aspar MotoGP Team 48:02.028 (+1:11.261)
14. Yonny Hernandez COL Octo Pramac Racing 48:04.663 (+1:13.896)
15. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing 48:06.188 (+1:15.421)
16. Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini 48:11.274 (+1:20.507)
17. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team 48:21.991 (+1:31.224)
18. Stefan Bradl GER Factory Aprilia Gresini 48:37.600  (+1:46.833)
19. Kousuke Akiyoshi JPN AB Motoracing 48:50.839 (+2:00.072)
20. Toni Elias SPA Forward Racing +1 lap

DNF. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3
DNF. Jack Miller AUS LCR Honda
DNF. Maverick Viñales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar
DNF. Loris Baz FRA Forward Racing
DNF. Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team
DNF. Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Racing

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