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MotoGP Japan - Stoner wins in Japan, Valentino Rossi beats up on Jorge Lorenzo


by Marc Cantin ,

Ducati’s Casey Stoner took his second straight Japanese MotoGP victory, joining motorcycle legends Kenny Roberts, Geoff Duke and John Surtees, all with 22 premier-class wins.

Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo took a step further towards the championship by extending to 69 points his lead over injured Dani Pedrosa (Honda), who broke his collarbone in Friday practice and had to undergo surgery Saturday in Spain.

Right at the start, Stoner out braked pole sitter Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) and was able to take the lead, where he stayed for the duration. With seven laps to go, Stoner was able to pull a gap on his potential team-mate for 2011, finally crossing the line 3.8 sec to the good.

The real battle happened between the two factory Yamahas, as Lorenzo got ahead of Rossi at the start, but the world champion stayed with him, rubbing elbows and fairings throughout the race, with Vale ending up third at the finish, half a second ahead of Lorenzo.

The background to this fight is interesting, as with Dani Pedrosa injured and likely out of the championship battle, Lorenzo does not really need Vale’s help to win the championship. On the other hand, Rossi will be on a Ducati next year, and Lorenzo will then be the enemy. It was thus important for Rossi to show his mastery over Lorenzo, despite an injured shoulder and his recovering legs after that double break.

Vale has written off 2010, and is already working on the heads of his competitors for 2011. Should be a good one!

MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix - Results
Pos Rider Team Time/Gap

1. Casey Stoner Ducati 43m12.266s
2. Andrea Dovizioso Honda + 3.868s
3. Valentino Rossi Yamaha + 5.707s
4. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha + 6.221s
5. Colin Edwards Yamaha + 27.092s
6. Marco Simoncelli Honda + 30.021s
7. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki + 31.826s
8. Ben Spies Yamaha + 35.572s
9. Randy de Puniet Honda + 47.564s
10. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda + 49.598s
11. Marco Melandri Honda + 49.999s
12. Nicky Hayden Ducati + 50.703s
13. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati + 51.422s
14. Aleix Espargaro Ducati + 52.843s
15. Mika Kallio Ducati + 1m14.668s

MotoGP Standings – After Round 14 of 18
Pos. Rider Bike Points
1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 297
2. Dani Pedrosa Honda 228
3. Casey Stoner Ducati 180
4. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 159
5. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 156