Dani Pedrosa rides a superb race to take victory at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan while Rossi extends lead over Lorenzo to 18 points.
The Repsol Honda rider came from sixth on the grid to take his 27th MotoGP™ win and first since Brno in 2014 on a drying track at the Twin Ring Motegi. Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi (+8.573s) crossed the line in second to record his 14th podium of the season as he extended his lead over his teammate Jorge Lorenzo to 18 points in the World Championship standings. Lorenzo (+12.127s) completed the podium after struggling with front-tyre wear late on in the race to record his 94th premier class rostrum.
There were only really three riders in with a chance to win the race in tricky conditions at Motegi that saw 50,000 fans packed into the grandstands despite the rain. The race started on time despite a two-hour delay to the morning’s Warm Up Session, but the track remained damp meaning all riders went for wets. At the start of the race the outcome looked very different, as Rossi got the holeshot into turn 1 only for Lorenzo to take him through turns 3 & 4 for the lead. At this point things looked ominous for Rossi as Lorenzo broke away at the front in his usual fashion and opened up a 2 second lead by the end of lap 3.