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Page last updated at 07:05 GMT, Sunday, 26 April 2009 08:05 UK

Lorenzo clinches victory in Japan

Jorge Lorenzo

MotoGP highlights - Japan

Jorge Lorenzo powered to victory in the Japanese MotoGP at Motegi ahead of team-mate Valentino Rossi to take the lead in the world championships.

Pole-sitter Rossi led for the first third of the race before the Spaniard passed him, and Rossi then had to hold off Dani Pedrosa for second spot.

Casey Stoner, who won the opening race of the season in Qatar, finished fourth ahead of Andrea Dovizioso.

British rider James Toseland finished in ninth place.

Pedrosa's finish was all the more impressive considering the pre-season injury problems which affected his preparation and bike development so much that he was forced to ride last year's model.


"I had a very good start and in first laps I thought maybe I could stay there two or three laps, then it became four or five," said a clearly shocked Pedrosa.

"As it went on I couldn't believe I was still there with the Yamahas."

Rossi was disappointed not to have won, but took consolation from scoring valuable championship points.

"I did a great start but after some laps I realised I didn't have enough pace to to away long," said Rossi.

Unexpected win in Japan delights Lorenzo

"After I got my rhythm, my pace was ok but too late to come back on Lorenzo - it's not a victory but it's 20 points for the championship."

Lorenzo admitted he did not expect to lead the championship so early in the season, and said he was looking forward to putting on a show in front of his home fans at the next round of the championship, in Jerez in Spain.

"Jerez is always a party, people are always pushing the Spanish riders so I think maybe well take some risks to try and win," he said.

"If we can't, we'll finish as best we can."

In the 125cc race, Italy's Andrea Iannone won his second consecutive race, ahead of Julian Simon and Pol Espargaro, to retain his lead in the championship.

Spain's Alvaro Bautista won the 250cc ahead of home favourite Hiroshi Aoyama, with Mattia Pasini in third.

Reigning champion Marco Simoncelli, who missed the opening race of the season because of a wrist injury, started from pole and led for the first nine laps until he clipped the kerb and struggled back to the pits, re-emerging to finish in 17th place.

MotoGP race result:

1 J Lorenzo (Spa) Fiat Yamaha 43 mins 47.238 secs
2 V Rossi (Ita) Fiat Yamaha 43:48.542
3 D Pedrosa (Spa) Repsol Honda 43:51.001
4 C Stoner (Aus) Ducati 43:52.929
5 A Dovizioso (It) Honda 43:56.445
6 M Melandri (Ita) Kawasaki 44:17.793
7 L Capirossi (Ita) Suzuki 44:19.994
8 M Kallio (Fin) Ducati 44:26.654
9 J Toseland (GB) Yamaha 44:30.344
10 C Vermeulen (Aus) Suzuki 44:30.483,
11 R de Puniet (Fra) Honda 44:32.072
12 C Edwards (USA) Yamaha 44:33.778
13 A de Angelis (Smr) Honda 44:40.763
14 N Canepa (Ita) Ducati 45:09.042
15 T Elias (Spa) Honda +1 lap

World Championship standings:

1 J Lorenzo (Spa) Fiat Yamaha 41 points
2 V Rossi (Ita) Fiat Yamaha 40
3 C Stoner (Aus) Ducati 38
4 A Dovizioso (Ita) Repsol Honda 22
5 D Pedrosa (Spa) Repsol Honda 21
6 C Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 17
7 M Kallio (Fin) Pramac Racing 16
8 C Vermeulen (Aus) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 15
9 A de Angelis (SM) San Carlo Honda Gresini 13
10 M Melandri (Ita) Hayate Racing Team 12

Manufacturers standings:

1 Yamaha 45pts
2 Ducati 38
3 Honda 27
4 Suzuki 18
5 Kawasaki 12

250cc race result:

1 A Bautista (Ita) Aprilia 44mins 06.488secs
2 H Aoyama (Jpn) Honda 44:12.377
3 M Passani (Ita) Aprilia 44:28.320

250cc championship standings:

1 A Bautista (Sp) Mapfre Aspar 34 points
2 H Aaoyama (Jpn) Scot Racing 33
3 H Barbera (Sp) Pepe World Team 30

125cc race result:

1 A Iannone (Fra) Aprilia 42mins 23.716secs
2 J Simon (Spa) Aprilia 42:25.062
3 P Espargaro (Spa) Derbi 42:28.755

125cc championship standings:

1 A Iannone (Ita) Aprilia 37.5 points
2 J Simon (Spa) Aprilia 30
3 P Espargaro (Spa) Derbi 22.5

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see also
Rossi happy with important points
26 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
Rossi profits from rain in Japan
25 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
Stoner takes win in MotoGP opener
13 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
Rossi glad to continue competing
08 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
Toseland eyes greater consistency
07 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
Lorenzo happy to keep on learning
06 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
Toseland regrets Edwards fall-out
02 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
MotoGP on the BBC
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
MotoGP calendar 2011
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP

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New York Times Motorsports Links: Talladega Crash Injures 7 Fans - 36 hrs ago
Asian Age Lorenzo beats Rossi for win - 38 hrs ago
South China Morning Post Rossi glad to see back of 'crazy' weekend in Japan - 46 hrs ago
Sydney Morning Herald Rossi hopes sun shines for him in Spain - 49 hrs ago