MOTEGI, JAPAN, OCT 14 - Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa stole back another five championship points with his career best fifth MotoGP victory, this one coming in the Japanese Grand Prix on Honda's Twin Ring Motegi circuit.
From the middle of the first row, Pedrosa got away behind Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, then stalked him for the first 11 laps. Pedrosa made his move on the 12th lap with Lorenzo sticking with him initially. Then Pedrosa lowered the boom and pulled away.
The margin of victory was 4.276 secs.
The win cut Lorenzo's still comfortable championship lead to 28, 310 to 282, with three races remaining. Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner, fifth today in his return to action, is third with 197 points.
Third place went to San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista, who a day earlier had re-signed with the Gresini Honda team. The Spaniard caught and passed Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow on lap 20 of 24. Crutchlow briefly re-passed him and the two battled. The battle ended on the final lap when Crutchlow slowed having run out of gas.
That wasn't the only bad luck for Yamaha. Yamaha's Ben Spies got into the Turn 11 90 Degree Corner too hot on the first lap, running through the gravel and tapping the placard before tipping over.
When Crutchlow ran out of gas, everyone else in the mostly processional race moved up a spot, including his teammate Andrea Dovizioso who moved to fourth. Dovi had passed Stoner on lap 17. Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) was sixth and Ducati Marlboro's Valentino Rossi seventh.
Teammate Nicky Hayden just held off Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga for eighth.
Pramac Racing's Hector Barbera (ART) was tenth, and the first CRT machine.
NGM Mobile Forward Racing's Colin Edwards was 13th.
Motegi MotoGP Results:
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
3. Alvaro Bautista (Honda)
4. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha)
5. Casey Stoner (Honda)
6. Stefan Bradl (Honda)
7. Valentino Rossi (Ducati)
8. Nicky Hayden (Ducati)
9. Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha)
10. Hector Barbera (ART)