Australia's Casey Stoner followed up his first win of the season at Aragón with a second victory at the Grand Prix of Japan today, followed by Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi.
Australia’s Casey Stoner followed up his first win of the season at Aragón with a second victory at the Grand Prix of Japan today, with pole-sitter Andrea Dovizioso second and Valentino Rossi in third.
It was another strong performance from the Ducati rider, who many felt would be unable to challenge at the front today.
“This win feels great. I could have never imagined when I began my first season in grand prix at sixteen years of age that I would reach this level and all I can say is that it is an honour to be alongside such great names,” Stoner said. “I have taken all my MotoGP wins with Ducati and it is down to their fantastic support, hard work and above all their belief in me that this has been possible.
“Once again we put in maximum effort all weekend here to find some stability in the hard braking and acceleration zones at this circuit, which has been a massive challenge for us. We tried something in warm-up this morning that didn’t quite work so we took a bit of a lucky dip for the race and it paid off.
“Once I got out in front I knew we had a chance to win but it wasn’t without fighting for it because Andrea rode a great race to push me all the way to the last lap. It’s a big win for me, especially because it’s my first at this circuit and that means a lot.”
Stoner took the lead in turn two after having started the race from third on the grid and then coolly managed a half-second gap to Dovizioso throughout the majority of the 24-lap race.
The real excitement in the grand prix however was drawn from Fiat Yamaha teammates Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo’s intense battle for the final spot on the podium, which after swapping paint as they jostled for position ended with the reigning world champion finishing ahead of the champion-elect.
As at Aragón, Stoner got a fast start and took the lead on the opening lap and quickly settled into a rhythm much higher than he had shown in practice.
He traded fast laps in the early stages with Dovizioso, who had from pole for the first time in the premier class and stuck with him for the early stages.
Lorenzo hinted at what was to come as he passed Rossi to assume third, but that was just the start of the duo’s enthralling contest.
Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) ran off at turn five together on only the second lap as they dropped down the order, whilst rookie Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) pitted their wits against one another in the push for fifth.
Stoner began to open up a slender lead over Dovizioso which eventually became a full second with just seven laps remaining, while further down the order Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) was forced to retire when his bike seemingly stalled as he ran wide alongside teammate Álvaro Bautista in the chase for seventh place.
With Stoner assured of victory and Dovizioso returning to the podium after an eight-race stint without a top-three finish, Rossi and Lorenzo locked horns in the kind of battle that demonstrates there is little in the way of team orders at Yamaha.
Repeatedly pushing one another the pair clashed bikes with two laps to go as they fought side-by-side in a rousing finale to the race.
Victory for Stoner came by a margin of 3.868s and Dovizioso’s fifth podium of the season – his first since Silverstone – was also confirmed.
Rossi managed to hold his own in third place and score a seventh rostrum result of 2010, and in the process ensure that Lorenzo finished outside the top three for the second successive race.
In the absence of the injured Dani Pedrosa, Lorenzo’s lead at the top of the championship was extended to 69 points and if Pedrosa fails to make the Malaysian round, Lorenzo needs just a 10th place finish to assure himself of his maiden MotoGP crown.
Edwards won his personal scrap with Simoncelli to post a season’s best result of fifth, with the Italian sixth and Bautista seventh. Ben Spies, Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) completed the top ten.
Toni Elías took another step towards sealing the 2010 Moto2 World Championship with victory in the Grand Prix of Japan on Sunday, holding off the determined challenge of Julián Simón to take his seventh win of the season.
Immediately from the off pole man Simón and Elías, who started from the front row, were at the head of the race and they swapped the lead on a number of occasions in the early stages.
The duel between Elías and Simón continued to rage at the front whilst Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2), Yuki Takahashi (Tech3 Racing), Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) and Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) all remained in the hunt for third place.
Elías managed to resist Simón’s determined push and eventually finished 0.315s ahead of his fellow Spaniard.
For the Gresini Racing rider victory stretched his advantage at the top of the Championship to 81 points over Simón, who finished second for the fourth race in succession.
An intense last-lap push for third place saw De Angelis and Abraham touch bikes on the final lap, with the Czech rider coming out on top for his first ever World Championship podium.
Marc Márquez took victory at Motegi in the 125cc Grand Prix of Japan on Sunday as he closed the gap on championship leader Nico Terol – who finished the race in second position – to six points.
It was the Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider’s seventh win of the season, which came from his ninth pole position start of the year.
Traffic at the start of the race saw Jonas Folger (Team Ongetta) and Efrén Vázquez (Tuenti Racing) crash out through no fault of their own as a coming together of bikes affected the duo.
The German youngster escaped with bruising to his left arm and Vázquez avoided injury as well, but was transferred to hospital for precautionary checks.
Avoiding the chaos at the head of the race were Terol, Márquez, Bradley Smith, Pol Espargaró and Sandro Cortese who all settled into a leading group of five, which itself became more dispersed as the race continued.
With 14 of the 20 laps completed Márquez had stretched to a lead of just over two seconds ahead of Terol, with Smith (Bancaja Aspar) riding a relatively lonely race in third position.
Young British rider Danny Kent, riding for the Lambretta Reparto Corse team and impressing by rising to 14th, then suffered the disappointment of crashing.
It was a fate that was also experienced by home rider Tomoyoshi Koyama (Racing Team Germany) who was running in fifth when he fell with two laps to go, managing to rejoin the race but finish down in 22nd.
There were no slip ups at the front however as Márquez crossed the line 2.612s clear to narrow the gap on Championship leader Terol, who finished second, with his teammate Smith collecting a fourth podium of the season by placing third.
Espargaró (Tuenti Racing) placed fourth, but dropped to third in the championship standings, seven points adrift of Márquez. Alberto Moncayo (Andalucia Cajasol) sealed an impressive fifth-placed finish for his best result to date.