Jorge Lorenzo Storms to Motegi Win
If Lorenzo had little problems staying in front, race favorite Rossi had a hard time securing the runner-up spot. The Japanese fans enjoyed a thrilling battle for 2nd place between the Yamaha rider and Pedrosa, with the Italian eventually clinching 2nd place for the second event running.
Although starting the race from the fourth row, Pedrosa got off to a blistering start and started recovering positions lap after lap. He finished the race in 3rd place, an unexpected result for the yet-phisically-fit rider.
Although rain was expected to the Motegi circuit on Sunday, the Japanese Grand Prix went under way on dry track. Nevertheless, Casey Stoner failed to get his Ducati up to speed and batling for the podium, despite the bike’s great pace during the Friday practice.
Fifth overall was Honda’s second rider Andrea Dovizioso, followed by Kawasaki’s Marco Melandri, Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi, Pramac’s Mika Kallio and Tech 3’s James Toseland. Chris Vermeulen went on to finish the race in 10th place.
Lorenzo’s win lifted the Spaniard all the way to the top of the standings, followed by teammate Rossi and Ducati’s Stoner. The Yamaha duo have, so far, finished all 2009 races on the overall podium. Although this might be regarded as great pace from Yamaha’s 2009 challenger, Lorenzo wants to keep his feet on the ground.
“I am the leader in the championship but I still think that (Casey) Stoner, Valentino (Rossi) and (Dani) Pedrosa are stronger than us. They are more experienced with the Bridgestone tires but we are still learning about them and improving. Today I had a great opportunity to win. I knew that with a hard rear tire I had good pace, so I saw the chance and I attacked,” argued Lorenzo after the race.
“I think that this championship will be very interesting, because we have four riders capable of trying to win the title. I’m happy, because it was a great race. We had four riders fighting for the victory, a lot of overtaking, and I think that everyone enjoyed the race – especially me! “I didn’t feel confident with the bike at one point. It didn’t ride very well and I lost time with Lorenzo and Pedrosa. Fortunately in the last part of the race I could improve my pace and lines to take second,” added teammate Rossi.
The next round of the MotoGP will get under way next week, at Jerez.