Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi stalked Marlboro Ducati’s Casey Stoner early in today’s A-Style Grand Prix of Japan, and then struck – taking the lead and never looking back as he cruised to his eighth win of the season to earn his sixth premier class World Championship and the eighth overall world title of his impeccable career.

Stoner took the lead early in the 24-lap race, but Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa fought his way to the front, only to lose out to the Ducati with Stoner diving under the Spaniard and then giving an apologetic wave. Rossi, meanwhile, was watching from behind and didn’t waste much time in moving to second and closing in on Stoner.

On the 14th of 24 laps, Rossi made his move and passed Stoner, taking a lead he wouldn’t relinquish and adding this year’s title in the premier class to his championships in 2001, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Stoner held on to finish second – a return to the podium for the Aussie after a three-race drought. Pedrosa ended up third, despite the best efforts of fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo. The Fiat Yamaha rider tried to pass Pedrosa on the final lap, clipping the Honda’s back wheel as he tried to dive up the inside when there wasn’t room to do so. He didn’t crash, however, and was able to finish a comfortable fourth.

Repsol Honda’s Nicky Hayden ended up fifth, topping Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi sixth. Tech 3 Yamaha’s Colin Edwards, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Shinya Nakano and Kawasaki’s John Hopkins rounded out the top 10.

With three races remaining in the series, Rossi has an insurmountable lead of 92 points, 312-220, over Stoner. Pedrosa is third with 209 points. Hayden is now eighth, but just three points behind sixth-placed Colin Edwards.

MotoGP:

1. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)

2. Casey Stoner (Ducati)

3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)

4. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)

5. Nicky Hayden (Honda)

6. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki)

7. Colin Edwards (Yamaha)

8. Shinya Nakano (Honda)

9. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda)

10. John Hopkins (Kawasaki)

11. James Toseland (Yamaha)

12. Randy de Puniet (Honda)

13. Marco Melandri (Ducati)

14. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)

15. Anthony West (Kawasaki)

16. Toni Elias (Ducati)

17. Alex de Angelis (Honda)

DNF:

Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki)

Kousuke Akiyoshi (Suzuki)

MotoGP World Championship:

1. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 312

2. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 220

3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 209

4. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 169

5. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 136

6. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 118

7. Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) 117

8. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 115

9. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 96

10. Shinya Nakano (Honda) 95

11. James Toseland (Yamaha) 90

12. Toni Elias (Ducati) 86

13. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 58

14. Alex de Angelis (Honda) 55

15. Marco Melandri (Ducati) 51

AMA Pro Racing News

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.

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