Dani Pedrosa claimed his 50th Grand Prix victory in the Japanese MotoGP at Motegi. The Spaniard beat title leader Valentino Rossi and fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo to the chequered flag, whilst team mate Marc Marquez could only finish fourth.
Pole man Lorenzo set the pace early on, but as the race went on he was plagued with tyre problems. Pedrosa worked his way past Rossi with eight laps to go before powering in to the lead on the next lap. Lorenzo’s tyre problems were evident when Rossi caught him, running extremely wide to allow his team mate to slip past. Marc Marquez caught Andrea Dovizioso late on to take fourth, whilst Cal Crutchlow overtook fellow Brit Bradley Smith in the final few corners to claim sixth. Scott Redding finished tenth, with Eugene Laverty seventeenth.
Rossi’s second place extends his championship lead to 18 points with three races remaining, whilst Marc Marquez is now unable to retain his crown, 86 points behind the Italian.
Johann Zarco was awarded the Moto2 title before the race, with closest challenger Tito Rabat’s weekend being cut short through injury. Zarco celebrated his title with another win in a rain affected race, whilst Danny Kent will have to wait to secure the Moto3 title, finishing sixth, with Niccolo Antonelli taking the win.