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Sunday, 15 October, 2000, 05:39 GMT 06:39 UK
Roberts caps title with Japan win
Kenny Roberts jnr
Roberts added Pacific GP glory to his 500cc crown
Newly-crowned world champion Kenny Roberts junior claimed a runaway 500cc victory in the Pacific Grand Prix at Motegi, Japan.

The Suzuki rider swept past pole-sitter Max Biaggi's Yamaha at the first bend and never looked back to win the 25-lap race by 6.17 seconds.

Valentino Rossi sneaked ahead of Italian compatriot Biaggi for second position in the final seven laps.

The 27-year-old Roberts jr. clinched his first world 500cc title by finishing sixth in Rio De Janeiro last week, 20 years after his father Kenny Roberts senior won the last of his three world crowns.

He has scored points in all but one Grand Prix this season and Motegi, the penultimate race of the year, was his fourth victory of a season marked by the retirement of five-time world champion Mick Doohan of Australia.

Eight riders have won a Grand Prix so far this season with the last round set for Phillip Island, Australia, two weeks from now.


In the 250cc race, Japan's Daijiro Katoh led from start to finish to set up an exciting final race of the season.

Roberto Locatelli
Locatelli sealed the 125cc championship
Honda rider Katoh, who also won in Brazil last week, began the race in pole position and managed to see off a strong challenge from fellow Japanese Shinya Nakano while championship leader Oliver Jacque of France could only finish fourth.

Italian teenager Marco Melandri finished third in a largely uneventful race.

Nakano was visibly upset after failing to find a way past his rival, but said he would be putting everything into the season finale in Australia.

The result means that Jacque still leads the championship with 254 points, but by only two points from Nakano in second and nine ahead of Katoh in third. A grand prix win scores 25 points.


The 125cc victor was Italian Aprilia ace Roberto Locatelli.

Daijiro Katoh
Katoh's win means the 250cc crown is up for grabs
The 26-year-old never looked back after bolting from pole position, shattering the course record along the way to finish 14 seconds ahead of Spain's Emilio Alzamora on a Honda.

Locatelli's win took his series points haul to 230, an unsurmountable 40 points ahead of Alzamora.

Locatelli's teammate and fellow Italian Simone Sanna finished third.

Japan's Derbi rider Youichi Ui, who was trailing eight points behind Locatelli in the championship, crashed on the 15th lap of the 21-lap race.

Mirko Giansanti meanwhile crashed and fractured his leg during official practice for the race.

The 24-year-old Italian fell with five minutes to go in the qualifying session and is expected to be out of action for two months.

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See also:

07 Oct 00 |  Motorsport
Katoh cruises to Brazil win
17 Sep 00 |  Motorsport
McCoy triumphs in Valencia
03 Sep 00 |  Motorsport
McCoy wins in Portugal
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