Jorge Lorenzo resisted intense pressure from title rival Marc Marquez to win the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.
The Spaniard made a superb start from pole to cement his advantage, as team-mate Valentino Rossi launched himself up to 2nd ahead of Honda duo Marquez and Dani Pedrosa; Ducati’s Nicky Hayden, starting an excellent 3rd, made a terrible getaway and fell to 10th place.
Rossi made things easier for Marquez when he ran wide with brake problems, repeating his error a couple of laps later and plunging down the order to 11th – although he recovered to 6th by the end of the race.
Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl proved Honda’s pace at their home circuit by finishing 4th and 5th, while Britain’s Cal Crutchlow led home team-mate and fellow Englishman Bradley Smith in 7th and 8th for Tech 3 Yamaha.
At the front, Marquez and Pedrosa piled the pressure on the leader, with the younger man nearly connecting his Honda with the rear-wheel of Lorenzo’s Yamaha. The two began to leave Pedrosa behind, but Marquez could not make his challenge stick and fell back from the indomitable Lorenzo who cruised home to his 6th win of the season.
His victory narrows the championship gap to 13 points with one race to go.
CLASSIFICATION – RACE – JAPANESE MOTOGP
|20||Corti||FTR Kawasaki||+1 Lap|
|22||Staring||FTR Honda||+1 Lap|
TOP THREE – RIDERS CHAMPIONSHIP