Author: Oli Rushby Pic: Repsol Posted: 11 Oct 2015
Dani Pedrosa took his first MotoGP victory since Brno 2014 today, taking advantage of late-race tyre troubles for Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi in wet conditions at Motegi.
Lorenzo bolted off the line at the start of the race, pulling out almost a second’s lead from Rossi on the first lap. The Mallorcan rider looked a dead cert to win the race, having built a gap of some four seconds in the first ten laps with Rossi unable to respond to his team mate’s pace.
However, as the race went on and the circuit slowly started to dry, both Movistar Yamaha riders began struggling with tyre degradation, particularly with their hard Bridgestone front tyres. The much lighter Dani Pedrosa soon became fastest man on track, and after seeing Dovizioso off for third the Repsol Honda man chased down and passed Rossi before taking the lead from Lorenzo with nine laps to go.
Lorenzo dropped almost four seconds off Dani Pedrosa’s pace in the closing stages, allowing Rossi through to steal a crucial second placed finish.
Marc Marquez took fourth ahead of Dovizioso, with Cal Crutchlow finishing top satellite rider in sixth place. Bradley Smith was seventh, ahead of Katsayuki Nakasuga and Hector Barbera. Britain’s Scott Redding rounded out the top ten.
Rossi’s crucial second place sees him stretch out his championship lead to 18 points over Lorenzo with three rounds remaining.