Pedrosa Stuns Yamaha to take Motegi Victory


Dani Pedrosa ended his longest victory drought in MotoGP in sensational style by defeating both Movistar Yamaha riders at a rain-hit Motegi. The Spaniard chased down Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo as tyre wear took over with Rossi eventually getting the better of his teammate to extend his championship lead.

Wet conditions were thought to have tipped the balance towards Rossi but Lorenzo clearly disagreed, storming into a sizeable early lead in typical fashion. By half distance, the polesitter had opened up a three second advantage over his championship rival but as conditions started to improve, the Bridgestone wet rubber began to fall apart on the drying tarmac.

There was one notable exception with Pedrosa eating into the deficit between himself and the Yamahas, gaining three seconds in as many laps. With eight to go, the no.26 was on terms with the championship leader and scythed past at turn nine, clearly enjoying levels of grip that weren’t available to those ahead of him.

Lorenzo was clearly hitting tyre trouble too with Pedrosa jumping straight across the gap between the two Yamahas but crucially, bring Rossi along with him. As they hit the back straight on lap eighteen, Dani used his superior traction to power past the no.99 but the news didn’t get any better for Jorge as Rossi set his sights on second. With five laps remaining, Lorenzo found no grip as he hit the brakes for turn three, leaving the door wide open for his grateful teammate.

Pedrosa was untroubled from the moment he grabbed the lead, handing Honda a home victory that precious few would have predicted. Rossi held onto second, extending his championship advantage to eighteen points, while third-placed Lorenzo was left to rue his blistering start.

Marc Marquez capitalised on tyre problems for Andrea Dovizioso, beating the Ducati rider to fourth, while Cal Crutchlow won an all-British battle for sixth after overtaking Bradley Smith on the final lap. Yamaha wildcard Katsuyuki Nakasuga finished eighth ahead of top open rider Hector Barbera with Scott Redding completing the top ten after a late surge.

 

2015 MOTUL GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN – RACE RESULT (24 LAPS)

PosRiderConstructorTeamTime/Gap
126. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team46:50.767
246. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP+8.573
399. Jorge LorenzoYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP+12.127
493. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team+27.841
54. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team+35.085
635. Cal CrutchlowHondaLCR Honda+37.263
738. Bradley SmithYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 3+37.667
821. Katsuyuki NakasugaYamahaYamaha Factory Racing Team+44.654
98. Hector BarberaDucatiAvintia Racing+48.572
1045. Scott ReddingHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS+50.121
1141. Aleix EspargaroSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR+1:00.535
1272. Takumi TakahashiHondaTeam HRC with Nissin+1:01.211
1369. Nicky HaydenHondaAspar MotoGP Team+1:11.261
1468. Yonny HernandezDucatiOcto Pramac Racing+1:13.896
1563. Mike Di MeglioDucatiAvintia Racing+1:15.421
1619. Alvaro BautistaApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini+1:20.507
1750. Eugene LavertyHondaAspar MotoGP Team+1:31.224
186. Stefan BradlApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini+1:46.833
1964. Kousuke AkiyoshiHondaAB Motoracing+2:00.072
2024. Toni EliasYamaha ForwardForward Racing+1 Lap
NC44. Pol EspargaroYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 3+2 Laps
NC43. Jack MillerHondaLCR Honda+8 Laps
NC25. Maverick VinalesSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR+11 Laps
NC76. Loris BazYamaha ForwardForward Racing+11 Laps
NC29. Andrea IannoneDucatiDucati Team+14 Laps
NC9. Danilo PetrucciDucatiOcto Pramac Racing+16 Laps
NS15. Alex de AngelisARTE-Motion IodaRacing TeamInjured